THE SANTA CLAUS HOLOCAUSTS.
So long as the Santa Claus myth has to be kept up, and some one has to do duty for the good old saint at Christmas tree festivals, so long, we suppose, we must expect to hear of fatal results being the outcome of the practice. The latest (we wish we could say the last) victim of this custom was Head Nurse Sammons, who, while enacting in costume the Santa Clans role for the amusement of the little crippled children at the Franklin free hospital in this city, suddenly broke out into a sheet of flame before the eyes of the horrorstricken spectators, and before anything could be done to help her received terrible injuries, which proved fatal in a few hours. It was providential that the flames did not reach the tree and set Are to it. Had they done so, a panic would have set in, and some of the little patients would probably have lost their lives. At least two Christmas trees caused fire in churches on Christmas eve, the result beiDg the destruction of the buildings in which they had been left over night dressed and ready for the next day’s festival. This yearly fire risk to buildings and annually recurring danger of a horrible holocaust might be minimized,at least, if not altogether avoided, if it were rendered legally compulsory to have the tree itself, everything on it, and the clothing of Santa Clans himself rendered fireproof or, at all events, slowburning—a course which is surely dictated by prudence and commonsense; and we consider that the fire insurance offices should take the proper steps to see that this is done, either by having some such clause inserted in their policies, or by having an act passed to that effect by the various legislatures. It is intolerable that such destructive and fatal burnings should be allowed to go on from year to year unhindered by the authorities.