On This Day in Frostburg/FFD History

December 7, 2017 Events  No comments


A reprint from the Cumberland Times Friday, December 7, 1928


Two Children Carried From Blazing Standish Mansion, a Landmark, Which Is Gutted – Another Family Barely Escapes Suffocation – Woman Loses Bonds.
Frostburg, MD., Dec. 7– Fire of unknown origin blazing through the roof of the Standish mansion, one of Frostburg’s oldest landmarks, one hour and 15 minutes after midnight, brought the clanging of fire bells awakening the residents of Standish Street to view one of the most destructive blazes in residential districts of the city for many years. The Standish mansion, a portion of which was gutted by the flames is the second landmark of the city to be ravaged by fire in recent years, the other being the Hotel St. Cloud, which burned about three years ago. The building, a two-story frame dwelling, housing three families, is owned by Olin Beall, senior member of the firm known as the Beall Insurance and Realty Co., and the loss is placed at about $11,000 including fire and water damage.

The fire was discovered by Walter Anthony, resident of Standish Street, who was returning home from the Elks Club. He saw flames piercing the roof from the rear portion of the dwelling and rushing to the phone in his home, summoned the Frostburg Fire Department. Dashing across the street he burst the front door of the residence open and sounded the alarm to the families therein quarter.

Rescued Two Children
Mrs. E. C. Sausman and the children, Mildred, aged 6, and Irma, aged five, asleep in the bedroom on the ground floor, were among the first notified and Anthony seeing of their plight told Mrs. Sausman to get out of the house as quickly as possible and wrapping bed clothing about the two children, put Mildred under one arm and Irma under the other arm and carried them to the residence of William Kalmeyer across the street. The mother of the two children in the tense excitement stood bewildered looking for her shoes and Anthony again went into the house stating that Mildred had the shoes in her hand. Mr. Sausman, an employee of the Kelly-Springfield Tire Company, Cumberland, was at work on the late shift, and had no knowledge of the fire into an early hour this morning. Members of the family were quartered at Kalmeyer and Leo Sullivan’s residence on Standish Street. All furniture left in the Sausman apartment, although not burned, is badly damaged by water. Mrs. Sausman had been ill for some time past. Much of the furniture was saved by the efforts of the neighbors.

Mr. and Mrs. Ned Harden living in the rear of the building were nearly suffocated by smoke. Mr. Harden was awakened by the cries of Mr. Anthony and room well filled with smoke, which a few minutes later was a massive flames. He and his wife escaped without injury, and clad in their night garments sought shelter in a residence nearby. Furnishings in their apartment were completely destroyed.

May Have Lost $3,000 Bonds
Miss Elizabeth Stephenson, Sec. to Dr. Wilson, Cumberland living in another section of the building, was also routed by the flames and smoke. Wrapping herself in a bathrobe Mr. Stevenson fled from the burning structure leaving bonds and securities of estimated value of $3000 in a trunk on the first floor, which were lost. Furnishings on the upper floor of her apartment were completely destroyed. Seventy-five dollars in bills in a box in a cupboard also burned.

Firemen were on the scene ten minutes after the alarm was sounded and worked valiantly, confining the blaze to the rear portion of the structure, which had gained great headway before their arrival. Despite their efforts fire seeped through the old walls of the dwelling and to the front roof facing Standish Street flames poured skyward illuminating Standish Street and Beall’s Lane.

Thousand Feet of Hose Used
Water pressure was low and the firemen attached some thousand feet of hose to the Ahrens Fox pumper that quickly responded in the flames were subsided after a hard battle of nearly one hour.

For a time it was thought that the Sausman children were in the house and women viewing the scene were moving about frantically crying in frenzied tones to get the children out of the house. They, however, knew nothing of Mr. Anthony’s heroic efforts, in bearing in the children to safety. The roof of the entire structure, both in the rear and the front is a total loss, while in the rear there is little left but the sidewalls, ready to fall in at any moment. The fourth and unoccupied apartment was untouched by flames, but water damage is estimated quite heavy.

The building is situated one door from the corner of Beall’s Lane on Standish Street, accessible with a fire hose from the corner of Beall’s Lane and Standish Street and another from the corner of Union Street and Beall’s Lane both of which plugs were used. Chief John D. Keller, of the department praised the efforts of his some 35 assistants and all were highly recommended by Mr. Beall, owner of the property for the manner in which they fought the blaze. The property, it is understood, is well covered with insurance.

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