Home Fire Claims Two Lives in 1943

(05/18/2001)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 5/6/1943.

Two Die in Fire at Home in Pleasant Hill

Mrs. Dennis Wease and Daughter, Estell, Perish; Father Burned

Mrs. Dennis Wease and her nine-year-old daughter, Estell, were burned to death in a fire which destroyed their farm home near Pleasant Hill early Monday morning.  Three other members of the family escaped the flames.

Dennis Wease, the husband and father of the tragedy victims, escaped the burning two-story frame home but was seriously burned and is now in a Parkersburg hospital, recovering.  Two other children of high school age, Oleta and Donzil, also escaped without severe burns from their flaming home.

The home, located about five miles out of Grantsville on the Pleasant Hill ridge, was at the point of collapse when the fire was discovered.  It was said that all were nearly safe but through confusion the mother and child went back into the flaming mass to meet their death.  Mr. Wease received his burns trying to rescue them.  All household possessions were destroyed by the fire.

The origin of the fire is unknown; although one theory advanced is that the house was struck by a bolt of lightning during a severe electrical storm Monday morning and the members of the family did not awaken until the fire had an unextinguishable start.

The bodies of the victims were recovered from the embers of the house several hours after the tragedy and were removed to the Stump Funeral Home in Grantsville.  Plans have not yet been made for funeral rites but will be extended until the recovery of Mr. Wease.

The Wease family is well known in Calhoun county, Mr. Wease being a prominent oil well rig builder and contractor.  Mrs. Wease is the daughter of Budd Bennett of the same community.


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