Monday, September 19, 2016

1900 - MICE, MATCHES AND WINE - A Combination Which Started and Then Put Out a Fire.

When the post office was opened Monday morning it was found that what was supposed to be water had leaked through the ceiling from the apartments above, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Brooks, who are on the Pacific coast for a stay of several weeks. An investigation followed and a rather remarkable discovery was made. The rooms were filled with smoke and after it was allowed to escape through open windows and doors, it was found that by a most peculiar circumstance a fire had started and had been extinguished. When the rooms were locked up on the departure of the family for the coast, a number of matches had evidently been left on a stand, under the edge of which a case of wine had been set, the bottles being in jackets of straw. When examined on Monday the bottles were all broken and were still warm and the straw jackets had been burned to ashes, while the case was badly charred. The supposition is that mice had nibbled at the straw and set off a match, which had dropped from the stand and the jackets on the bottles were thus set on fire. The fire had heated the bottles to the breaking point and the wine ran out and extinguished the fire, and prevented a conflagration which might have proved very serious.

Aberdeen Weekly News
Aberdeen, South Dakota
September 20, 1900