Mexborough & Swinton Times, March 2nd 1912
Sad Death Of A Denaby Child.
On Monday evening, at the Fullerton Hospital, Mr. Frank Allen, District Coroner, conducted an enquiry touching the death of Annie Wedge, aged five years, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wedge, of 77, Loversall Street, Denaby.
In giving evidence of identification, the mother Annie Wedge, stated that after getting up early last Saturday morning to see her husband off to work, she went back to bed again. She was awakened about 7-00 a.m. by screams from downstairs. On running down, she found her little daughter, Annie, in flames. She immediately wrapped a coat round the child, to try and extinguish the flames. She also fetched a quilt from upstairs in which she wrapped the child. In her frenzy she ran barefoot to the house of a neighbour – a Mrs. Knoughton – who assisted her with the child to the Fullerton Hospital.
” How do you assume the child caught fire ?” asked Mr. F. Allen, the Coroner.
” I cannot say, sir : I had a fireguard,” was the mother´s reply.
The Coroner : Were there any matches about ?
No, sir, I hadn´t one in the house, and I didn´t see any signs of burnt paper.
The fireguard was then produced, and on inspection was found to be one that opened at each end, similar to a gate. It was made for staples to be driven into the wall, and the guard hooked on. This had evidently been neglected.
Eliza Knoughton, wife of John Knoughton, of 79 Blythe, Street, Denaby, said that she was awakened last Saturday morning at 7-00 a.m. by knocks on the door. Going down she found Mrs. Wedge at the door, distracted and barefooted. Mrs. Wedge cried, ” Annie is on fire.” They both went into the house together, and she found Annie wrapped in a coat and quilt, her clothes smouldering. The little girl was wearing a white calico nightdress. She ( the witness ) stripped the child of her clothes and rubbed her with oil.
Nurse Steel, of the Fullerton Hospital, stated that Annie Wedge was admitted at 7-30 a.m. on Saturday morning. She was then in a state of collapse, and badly burnt chiefly about the back and legs. She was well wrapped up and had been attended to.
Dr. Dhun Feroze said that he first saw the child on Saturday morning at 8-00 a.m. on Saturday morning. She was then suffering severely from shock and was badly burnt. He attended to her until two hours off her death which occurred on Saturday at 1-30 p.m.
The Coroner said it was quite clear from Mrs. Knoughton´s evidence that the child had managed to move one end of the fireguard, and thus obtained access to the fire.
The Coroner strongly recommended Mrs. Wedge to have some staples driven into the wall, and so prevent further accidents with the children at home.
He expressed his sympathy for the parents in the loss of their child.
The jury, on summing up the evidence returned a verdict to the effect that the child had died from shock, through being badly burnt.