Washington, DC Spaight House Fire, Jan 1912


MRS. KATE SPAIGHT Succumbs to Burns in Hospital.


Mother's Clothing Ignites From Her Small Daughter's Dress.

Children in Game of "Tag" When Coal From Stove Set Eight-Year Old's Skirt on Fire---Policeman's Wife Goes to Rescue and Is Enveloped---Husband's Brave Fight to Save Her Futile---Firemen Save the House.

Rushing from the cradle of a 3 month old baby to save her 8 year old daughter from fire which threatened to burn the child to death MRS KATE SPAIGHT 28 years old wife of Policeman John D Spaight of 328 D street southwest was herself fatally burned at 8 o clock last night in the dining room of the family home after a futile attempt to extinguish the fire in her own clothing which had become ignited from the child s dress Mrs Spaight died at midnight at the Emergency Hospital Policeman Spaight was seriously burned about the hands and face in his futile attempt to save his wife Nora Spaight the 8 year old child whose burning dress started the fire was not seriously burned and did not require hospital treatment

Mrs Spaight was taken to the Emergency Hospital with her husband both suffering agony Mrs. Spaight s body was a mass of burns and after a lengthy examination on the operating table the physicians told Spaight that his wife had but a fighting chance for life They dressed his burns so he might hurry back to his home and comfort his four children who were left in the care of a neighbor when the parents were carried away

Play Ends in Tragedy

The terribly agony endured by Mrs Spaight during the ride from her home to the hospital was alleviated by the surgeons with doses of a powerful sedative These quieted her She has lost consciousness before her husband returned to the hospital after seeing his babies put in their beds Spaight refused to take a sedative and go to bed and begged the surgeons to be allowed to wait at the hospital and be present at his wife s side when she died

Nora was playing with two other children in the dining room of the Spaight home running around the room in a last game of tag before they were to be placed in their beds by their mother Nora was leading the chase when she stumbled against the upright stove in a corner The front door of the stove was jarred open and live coals set fire to her light dress The other children frightened by the fire ran to the mother in an adjoining room where she was rocking the baby s cradle

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Made me cry

This was my great grandmother. This is how my grandfather watched his mother die. He never could mention her name with out tearing up and now I understand why. He was 6 at the time.