Four Children Rescued
Charlotte, N. C., firemen are receiving praise for their rescue of four Negro children from a burning cottage in which the youngsters had been locked by their mother while she went to the store to buy food. Firemen were painfully burned and blistered in getting the children out of a closet into which they had retreated for protection from the heat of the fire which they had started themselves by playing with matches.
As Assistant Fire Chief Donald Charles stepped from his car, he was informed by persons in the neighborhood that there were children in the house. A moment later, a woman came creaming to him. Her children were inside.
Chief Charles, Firemen Glenn Nixon, J. J. Thomas, and others rushed into the house. Fire hose was quickly laid at the front and rear. They started a quick, systematic search of the dwelling. The tar rained down upon them. They winced, but kept going.
Nothing in the front room. No one in still another room. And then Fireman Thomas called out. There, the children were, in the closet. Hurriedly they were carried out the back way into the yard.
Asked why they had not left the house when the fire started instead of retreating to a closet, the elder boy of five said that their mother told them when she left, “If we lef’ the house she’d wear the pants off’n us.”
The children were playing with a box of matches when one of them struck a match and it fell on bits of newspaper scattered on the floor. With flames dancing all about the room as other articles caught, the elder brother herded the children into the kitchen closet and started yelling.