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Three persons burned to death.

Orillia Packet Feb. 24 1898


Three persons burned to death.

On Sunday night about 12 o’clock, Mr. James Arthurs, whose farm is three miles north of Sebright and nearly 20 miles from Orillia was awakened by the cries of his son, James, who slept in the attic. He found that the house was in flames, and ran outside to endeavor to rescue his son. But his efforts were unsuccessful, owing to there being no outside opening to the attic, and he was forced to desist when his left hand and head had been severely burned. James was 27 years of age.

Mrs. Arthurs also sprang up and ran out to render any assistance in her power, but finding that the flames were gaining rapidly she ran back, to save her 9 year old son Archie, who slept in the room with his parents. In this she failed and both perished.

There were two bedrooms opening off the kitchen in one of which Mr. and Mrs. Arthurs and their son slept. The other was occupied by their daughter Agnes, aged 18. She attempted to escape through the kitchen but was driven back by the flames. She then broke the window and got out that way. She next ran two or three times into the barn and back before she seems to have collected her thoughts, when she ran 300 yards to the home of Richard McFayden, to summon help. She was terribly burned from the feet to the hips, in the head, shoulders and breasts. The path where she walked over the snow was marked with blood, and when she reached Mr. McFayden’s the flesh came off the soles of her feet, like a pair of sandals leaving the bones bare……The bodies of Mrs. Arthurs and her two sons were burned to a crisp, and could all be placed into a bushel basket…Agnes, the girl who was so badly burned, is still alive but there is little hope of recovery.” [she died 2 days later]


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