Mrs. Edwin Hood Proves A Heroine

January 1, 1914

Carries Children From Burning Home and Later Rescues Husband

Worked With Bare and Bleeding Feet

The Second Serious Fire Violation Within Three Months — Walton Hood Grant Loses Valuable Library and Diplomas — Christmas Night Misfortune After Happy Day

The dwelling of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Hood, of Alpha, was destroyed by fire Christmas night, together with all the interior furnishings, including the valuable libraries of Mrs. Hood’s brother, Walton Hood Grant, the attorney, and her aunt, Mrs. Edgar G. Jones, of Baltimore.

Mrs. Hood had entertained her parents and other members of the family in the afternoon, having spent a most happy time with their three children around a Christmas tree in the parlor. There was an open fire in this mantle, the first time in some years, and it is thought sparks were drawn through defective places in the chimney to the dry wood, and although Mr. Hood had put out all the fire in the hearth with water before retiring at 9:30 o’clock, it is supposed the strong wind which was blowing after 8 o’clock that night, fanned the errant sparks into a fire which might have been fatal to the whole household, had it not been for cries of Ruth Oletz, for four months old baby girl of Mr. and Mrs. Hood, at 12:30 o’clock.

After quieting the baby, Mrs. Hood observed the red glow of the reflected blazes upon the white outbuilding, and after alarming the family, she hastened out into the driving rain with her three little ones, clad only in their night clothes. Mr. Grant and Mr. Hood began a struggle with the flames, but finding their efforts futile, they set to work saving as much as possible of their furnishings and valuables, until the smoke became unbearable.

The children were left in the corn house in charge of William Johnson, a ten year old, whom the Hoods are raising, and after calling upon the Sykesville Telephone Exchange to spread the alarm, Mrs. Hood manifested wonderful bravery, going into the dark cellar and carrying out armful after armful of canned fruit, etc., while her feet were bare and bleeding from broken glass cuts.

Mr. Hood had about forty dollars in his bedroom and in groping for it in the dark he was nearly overcome, but was assisted to safety by his wife. The money was lost, as were all Mrs. Hood’s clothing and that of her children.

The only things saved were some canned goods and provisions, a new Victrola, a suite of parlor furniture, some family pictures from the parlor, a handful of silver spoons, and a few Christmas gifts belonging to the children. Many valued heirlooms, including all of Mrs. Hood’s jewelry, were consumed in the merciless flames. The neighbors hastened to the scene, but it was impossible to get into the house because of the dense smoke. They rendered great assistance in protecting the other outbuildings and in carrying to shelter the rescued goods.

Mrs. Hood and the children were taken to the nearby home of Joseph O. Hale and made comfortable for the balance of the night. They are now staying at the home of Mrs. Hood’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Grant. Warm clothing for the whole family was hastened to them by many kind friends, and everything possible to relieve their immediate distress has been done by the community of loyal neighbors.

This makes the second disastrous fire that has come to these young people during the past three months. Mr. Hood’s new garage and auto truck having been burned in September.

The home just burned was built by the late James Grant, Mrs. Hood’s grandfather, in 1868, and because of this it was much cherished by her, and its loss comes as a severe blow. It is not known whether they will rebuild, but it is very probable that they will, as Mr. Hood has just completed a new lot of substantial outbuildings.

He carried $1,000 in the Continental and $500 in the Home Insurance companies upon the house, but had just allowed his policy on the contents of the house to lapses in August. Mr. Grant carried no insurance upon his effects. He lost four diplomas which he prized very highly.

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