October Fire Losses in Ohio
“Thirty-seven dead and forty-nine injured by fire is the fearful record of carelessness Ohio made in October.” This was the statement made by State Fire Marshal H. A. Dykeman. Continuing, he said, “This is the worst month in three years, save January and March of 1920, when weather conditions called for more powerful home heating. The deaths of October uncover two glaring faults, each almost criminal in its scope. First, the leaving of babies and young children alone in the home; and second, the using of oils to start fires. The first fault ought to be cured by mothers’ love or good common sense. The second, it seems to me, after the widespread newspaper propaganda, should have cured itself! Seven of the deaths among young children in October can be traced directly to the fact that they were allowed to shift for themselves while parents or other grown wardens were elsewhere. The result proved most heartrending, hut an ocean oi tears of regret will not wash out the horrid red stains of carelessness or restore the blackened and ruined home. If the kiddies are not safe at home, in the name of humanity, where are they safe? ‘I did not realize,’ is no excuse for such heinous negligence as has been experienced the last month!
“Of the October dead, 14 were males and 23 were females. Thirteen kiddies and 7 aged persons were sacrificed on the altar of carelessness. Playing with fire, gunpowder, bonfires and matches killed the kiddies, while the deadly open fire, using oil as a fire kindler and two gas explosions, sent the aged people into eternity. Strange to say that the major part of the deaths from oil occurred among young housewives in the full vigor of womanhood. In one case where the corpse of a woman, killed by kerosene, lay ready for burial, her sister did the same trick and lived! What are we to do where such indifference to death is manifest? Two persons, one a woman, were nearly burned to death while smoking in bed, ami this is 1921! Forty-nine Ohio people were injured by fire in October, 7 being children and 2 aged persons. How long are we to allow this maiming; how long this criminal carnival of carelessness?”