Sunday, January 30, 2011

Aged man jumps to escape blaze

This story was published by the Ypsilanti Daily Press on Friday, January 30, 1931.

Forced to jump from the roof of a coal shed 10 feet high, to escape threatening flames, F. C. Lewis, 88 years old, narrowly escaped serious injury this morning at 4:30 o’clock when fire destroyed his home at 116 Factory St. Damage is estimated by Mr. Lewis at $7,000.

Mr. Lewis, who lived alone in the large one story dwelling, had been frying lard on a coal stove when the lard ignited and flames shot high around the container. Mr. Lewis hurried to his bedroom for a blanket to smother the flames, but before he could return, the interior of the kitchen started burning.

Flames and smoke blocked escape through the kitchen. With smoke choking him in the bedroom he shoved out tow wooden blinds, which covered a window, and with the aid of a plank crawled from the first story window to the coal shed, a distance of five feet.

According to Mr. Lewis as he jumped from the roof, flames were rolling out of the bed room window. He was not hurt, but badly shaken up by the drop.

Ypsilanti fire department saved the house from burning to the ground although the rear section and roof is a charred mass. Combined flames, smoke and water ruined the interior.

Mr. Lewis states the loss is covered by insurance.

The fire department was also called to the home of Serene Casler, 208 Catherine St., at 3:30 Thursday afternoon to extinguish a small blaze which had started. Damage was slight.

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