Ten persons were injured in a fire that completely destroyed the home of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Burbank, 309 South Huron Street Tuesday evening.
This story was published by Ypsilanti daily Press on Wednesday, January 5, 1910.
MRS. GENEVIEVE PERRINE, face burned, hair, eyebrows and eyelashes singed
RONALD PERRINE, 7 years old, burned about the head.
ARTUR BLUNC, Plymouth, Mich. Leg sprained.
FIRE CHIEF BABCOCK, suffered from exposure to water and cold.
FIREMAN E. SUGGITT, suffered from exposure to water and cold.
FIREMAN D. SHEMELD, suffered from exposure to water and cold.
FIREMAN F. REIMAN, suffered from exposure to water and cold.
FIREMAN F. HOGAN, suffered from exposure to water and cold.
FIREMAN D. FREEMAN, suffered from exposure to water and cold.
WILLIAM HAIGHT, suffered from exposure to water and cold.
The alarm was turned in at 8:40, in fifteen minutes, the blaze, fanned by a fifty mile gale swept through the entire house of 16 rooms.
Mr. and Mrs. Burbank, Mrs. Perrine and her two children Ronald and Austin, 7 and 9 years respectively, gathered in the front room of the Huron Street home about 8:30 o’clock to view the lighted Christmas tree for the last time. Mr. Burbank lighted several candles on the tree when suddenly there was a flare and the entire room and occupants were enveloped in flames.
In attempting to save the life of her seven-year-old son, Ronald, Mrs. Genevieve Perrine, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Burbank, was severely burned about the head. Her sone was also badly burned. Mrs. Perrine picked up the little lad and carried him form the house while Mr. Burbank assisted the other members of the party to safety.
The upper floors of the Burbank were occupied by Cleary College Students. Several had retired for the evening and others were studying when the dense smoke and blinding flame swept through the rooms.
Arthur Blunc, a student whose home is in Plymouth, Mich. Jumped from the second story window. He sprained his leg. Other students who escaped from the burning house, but who lost all of their wearing apparel are:
Ray Baker, Plymouth, Mich.
Clarence A. Callen, Caro, Mich.
Onley V. Potter, Coldwater, Mich.
George Olds, Union City, Mich.
Edward Stevens, Hillsdale.
The fire was undoubtedly the most spectacular the local department has ever fought and great credit must be given Chief Babcock and his men for the efficient way in which they handled the three leads of hose they used on the blaze. The efforts of the men were hampered by the gale and the severe cold numbed their hands and feet and swept the icy water back on the rubber coats where it froze. Kind neighbors tendered the weary men hot coffee and in some cases the men were so overcome by the hard fight that they were unable to lift the cups of steaming fluid to their lips.
The fire started about 8:40 o’clock and the fire ladies did not leave the scene until after four this morning, working in the cold for over seven hours.
Three men also materially assisted the firemen in their work. They are William Haight, Walter Westfall and Fred Maulbetzch.
Nothing stands but a shell of the first floor. The loss is complete and amounting to $7,500, $5,000 on the building and $2,500 on the furnishings. The students who lost their cloths will not receive any insurance. Mr. Burbank is insured for $2,000.
The fire was undoubtedly the worst the fire department ahs had to combat with in many years and the high wind and numbing, stinging cold greatly hampered their efficient work.
Crouched in a corner of the cellar of the Burbank home, Tom, the magnificent twenty pound feline was found by the firemen. Tom, a little the worse for water yowled dismally as the rescuers neared him. Tom was taken to a neighbor’s home and it is said that he made away with three quarts of milk before curling up behind the kitchen stove of his newly adopted home.