Meriden, CT Apartment Building Fire, Dec 1956

MOTHER, 5 CHILDREN PERISH.

NINE SAVED FROM BLAZE.

FOUR OTHERS ARE SERIOUSLY HURT.

Meriden, Conn., Dec. 24 (AP) -- A flash fire that swept a five-story downtown apartment building killed a mother and four of her children last night.
Another child was injured critically. The woman's husband and her 20-year-old son were overcome by smoke. An uncle was badly hurt when he jumped through a closed window just as firemen reached his bedroom.
A policeman climbed dangerously close to flames licking out from the rear of the building to rescue nine occupants. He heard others screaming for help, he said, but was unable to reach them.
"It was horrible," said Patrolman WALTER FRANCE. "You don't know how it feels to hear the people screaming and know there's nothing you can do."
FRANCE had climbed to the shaky roof of a shed adjoining the rear of the building. It was from that section of the building the mother and her children were taken later.
The dead were identified as MRS. EULIA MORALES RIOS, 39; her daughters, GLADYS, 17, and ISOBEL, 6; and her sons, EDDIE NELSON, 4, and EDDIE, 8.
The critically injured child was identified as a 5-year-old son, ANIBAL. A 20-year-old son, JOSE, and his father, LUIS, 41, were hospitalized because of smoke poisoning. Their conditions were not critical.

News Palladium Benton Harbor Michigan 1956-12-24