Death of Rochester Recluse by Fire Reveals Riches

Death of Rochester Recluse by Fire Reveals Riches

Miss Anna Jenkinson, 95 Aldine Street, Rochester, N. Y., believed to be over 80 years old, a seldom seen recluse, died in a fire that swept the kitchen of her 8-room frame house in February.

Known to wear voluminous clothing, the cause of her death and the fire is believed to be a small unguarded gas grate, flames of which came in contact with her garments.

The alarm was telephoned by a neighbor shortly after 4:00 P.M. Firemen in command of Battalion Chief Carl Foos quickly extinguished the flames, after forcing their way into the structure, to find Mrs. Jenkinson, dead on the kitchen floor. The actual fire loss is reported by Chief Foos, at about $1,000.

Condition of the house, filled with old furnishings, indicated the elderly spinster lived for the most part in the kitchen The old heating plant was not used, nor were upstairs bedrooms. Electric current was turned off. but a telephone was “alive.” Only a handyman who came occasionally to help the woman, deformed since childhood, upstairs, and grocery delivery men, ever made any contact with the victim, who lived for two decades in the neighborhood without social callers.

Contents of a strong box uncovered by Morgue Superintendent George Glasser and Police indicated the woman was worth in the neighborhood of a quarter of a million dollars. Later, certificates and non-negotiable bonds and some cash, estimated at nearly $100,000 were found amid soaked and charred debris tossed into the snow of the backyard by firemen during overhauling.

The crippled recluse, who had shut herself away from all relations left a will bequeathing her fortune and possessions to hospitals and other charities.

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