Three Overcome by Gas in Apartment Fires
An elderly woman and her daughter, a nurse, were fatally overcome and a score of firemen were injured and overcome by smoke and illuminating gas at a two-alarm fire in the three-story Harding Apartments on Central Avenue, Bridgeport, Conn., on March 7. The fire was the work of an incendiary, according to fire and state police officials, as another fire in a wing apart from where the most disastrous blaze was discovered by firemen and extinguished before it gained headway.
The fire occurred shortly after midnight while all occupants of the building were asleep. Firemen were forced to use aerial ladders for rescue work. The elderly woman and her daughter were killed by gas fumes which filled the building after thirty-five gas meter located in the cellar ignited. The fire started in a wooden bin near the meters and burned upward to the floor beams.
At Hartford, on March 9 a clerk in the State Health Department offices, was killed by gas fumes in an apartment house fire in a manner closely paralleling the way in which the two women were killed at Bridgeport.
State Senator Audubon J. Secor drafted a hill to amend the state Tenement House act which will force gas companies in Connecticut to provide easily available street shutoffs for each building housing more than two families. The Hill will be raised in committee at the present session of the State Legislature and representatives will press for its passage as a result of the Bridgeport and Hartford tragedies.