Kaukauna, WI House Fire Kills Six Children, Dec 1958


Kaukauna, Wis. (AP) - Six panic-stricken children, five of whom crowded into the first floor bathroom of their flaming home, died Sunday while their parents were at church.
The charred body of the sixth child was found at the foot of a stairway down which the children had fled from the upstairs rooms.
The victims were children of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Weyneberg, who were attending mass at Holy Cross Catholic Church four blocks away. The couple, whose infant twins died of natural causes earlier this year, has no other children.
Firemen, unable to enter the fiercely burning home for more than an hour after the first alarm sounded at 5:40 a.m., recovered the bodies of LYNN, 7; DOUGLAS, 6; MARGARET, 5; JOHN, 3; BARBARA, 2 1/2; and MICHAEL, 1 1/2.
The body of one child, who apparently had attempted to flee the bathroom, was located at the foot of the stairs down which the children had run from their bedrooms. That child, firemen could not tell which of the six it was died of burns. The others were victims of suffocation.
Outagamiue County Coroner Bernard Kemps said the stairway to the first floor led into the kitchen where a door gave access to the back yard. The bathroom was located at the right of the staircase.
The children, Kemps said, apparently ran down the stairs and either took a wrong turn into the bathroom or were driven back from the kitchen by smoke.
A fire official said preliminary investigation indicates that the fire started in the living room from a faulty plug or lamp.
Weyneberg is a pipefitter at a local paper mill. The home is located in one of the better neighborhoods in this eastern Wisconsin community.

Standard-Sentinel Hazleton Pennsylvania 1958-12-22