Fitchburg, MA Child Playing With Matches Fire, Jun 1923


Three-Year-Old Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry C. Wells, Newton Street, Sets Fire To Her Clothing While Alone In House.

RUTH JANE WELLS, 3 years old, daughter of Harry C. and Cora (Lafrenier) Wells, 52 Newton street, died at Burbank hospital about 8:30 o'clock last night as the result of being burned at her home early Sunday morning. The little girl secured a match while her mother was at church, her father at work and her brothers and sistersin other parts of the house The child lighted the match and the flames ignited her summer dress In a moment she was enveloped in flames

The child ran to the piazza to join the other children Their screams attracted the attention of Richard Ashton, a neighbor, and he jumped over a fence and rushed to the child's assistance He smothered the flames and did everything possible to save the little girl

Dr. E W. Coates was summoned and after applying first-aid had the girl taken to the hospital Her injuries were so severe that very little hope was entertained from the beginning and despite every effort by the physicians she died early in the night Medical Examiner Woodworth viewed the body which was later turned over to John R Smith Co, undertakers

The little girl is survived by her parents, four sisters, Gertrude, Janie, Olive and Helen, and two brothers, Walter and Joseph Wells

The funeral was held from the house this afternoon at 3 o'clock with burial at St. Bernard's cemetery

The Fitchburg Sentinel, Fitchburg, MA 4 Jun 1923