Mrs. Sarah Smith of Firbeck street, wife of Harry Smith, an employee at Cadeby colliery, and her young family – George (seven), (four), and Stanley (eight months) – had to make a hurried exit from their home early on Wednesday morning when it was discovered that the fire had broken out in the front room.
They were all clad in their nightclothes, but were non-the worse for their adventure, though Mrs Smith had received a great shock.
She got up to see her husband off to work and then returned upstairs with the intention of looking at the eight-month-old baby. She fell asleep, however, but was wakened by a bang about 6 a.m. She went downstairs to investigate, and found the front room black with smoke. It was impossible to get through the room. She rushed upstairs for the baby, called to the other children, who were asleep in another room, and the family hurried out to safety, finding refuge in the home of Mrs. Smith’s sister, Mrs. Glennon, on the opposite side of the road.
It was impossible to enter the house from the street, the front door was locked so the window was broken and until the arrival of the fire brigade, who used a chemical extinguisher, neighbours threw buckets of water into the room. Most of the furniture in the room was ruined and some dressmaking materials which Mrs. Smith had been asked to “make up” for Whitsun were destroyed.
On Tuesday there was a fire in the grate in the room, and it is believed that the big outbreak was caused by that fire smouldering under the boiler.
Mrs. Glennon told a reporter: “The stairway down which the family came is connected with the kitchen. If it had been connected with the front of the house they could not have got out.”