Saturday, August 22, 2015

SIBLING SATURDAY Aunt Fannie’s Scare



Aunt Fannie Knapp was my Great Grandmother’s older sister--Grace (Clark) Wilson. Frances Clark married Dell Knapp in 1886 at Goshen, New York.

I’m certain Thursday, Jan. 4, 1912 would be a day Aunt Fannie always remembered. On this day she had gone to work cleaning houses.

The Saturday, January 6, 1912 Middletown Times-Press, Middletown, N. Y., reported Aunt Fannie’s frightening mishap.

Goshen Woman is Burned When a Spark from Her Body Ignited Naphtha

   It is an old trick, that of scuffling over the rug and lighting the gas by a spark from the fingers, but that electricity from the body will ignite naphtha when used for cleaning purposes now. This happened at Goshen, Thursday afternoon and before the flames had been extinguished, Mrs. Dell Knapp, of that place was badly burned.
   Mrs. Knapp who goes out by the day in doing domestic work, was employed at the home of Thomas Finan. While cleaning in a bathroom, using naphtha for the purpose, Mrs. Knapp saw that the day was slipping by and she increased her efforts.
   She was wearing a pair of rubbers, and stood upon a rug when a spark from her body ignited the fumes and in an instant she was in flames.
   Mrs. Knapp's screams were heard by Miss Edith Finan who ran to the bathroom and found the victim trying to beat out the fire which enveloped the upper part of her body. With presence of mind Miss Finan procured a heavy quilt and threw it over Mrs. Knapp and extinguished the flames.  "Ned" Finan, her brother, was also at home and he aided in putting out an incipient fire in the woodwork.
   Mrs. Knapp was badly burned about the face, neck and arms and the pain was lessened when Dr. Condict arrived and treated her. It was found she had not inhaled the fire and had no internal injuries.

Much to her family’s relief, Aunt Fannie recovered.

Aunt Fannie (Clark) Knapp, Goshen, NY

Aunt Fannie with girls
Young lady on the right is my Grandmother Viola L. Wilson


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