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Brantwood Nursing Home Fire

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 2 Mar 1942 [unknown]
Location: Lemay, St. Louis, Missouri, United Statesmap
Surname/tag: Worldwide Disasters
Profile manager: E. Gatlin private message [send private message]
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... ... ... Dedicated to those who died/or survived the 1942 Brantwood Nursing Home Fire
Brantwood Nursing Home Fire

On 2 March 1942, a fire broke out at the Brantwood Nursing Home, 128 East Etta Avenue, Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri. The fire started near the motor for the electric icebox. Minnie M. Torrence, who had opened the nursing home four months earlier, noticed that smoke was coming through the floor boards. When she opened the cellar door, smoke spread throughout the home. She called to the patients upstairs, and two women came down the steps. She sent one of her grandchildren to summon Constable Ed Early. Minnie M. Torrence, her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, and Ida Frances Moster escaped unaided. The other patients were carried out a window by firemen. All of them were taken to City Hospital.

Henry Kern, a retired fireman, died an hour after he arrived at City Hospital. Elizabeth Mapplebeck and Elizabeth Hedge died at City Hospital two days later. Justine Speck died at City Hospital nearly two weeks after the fire.

The other patients were Susie Vinyard, Martin Buehler, Robert Claiborne, Alice Newberry, and Helen Diekman.

The fire caused about $4,000 in damage, mostly from smoke and water.


  • "Invalid Perishes in Nursing Home Fire: 9 Overcome." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3 March 1942, p. 3A.
  • "Man, 72, Killed in Fire at Nursing Home." St. Louis Star-Times, 3 March 1942, p. 3.
  • "Nursing Home Fire Fatal." Joplin News Herald, 3 March 1942, p. 10.
  • "Woman, 82, Second Victim of Lemay Hospital Fire." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4 March 1942, p. 7C.
  • "Third Death Due to Fire at Nursing Home in County." St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5 March 1942, p. 12C.
  • "Bed-Ridden Woman, 83, Is Third Victim of Fire at Nursing Home in Lemay." St. Louis Star-Times, 5 March 1942, p. 3.
  • "Two St. Louis Women Overcome by Smoke, Die." Joplin Globe, 5 March 1942, p. 9.
  • "Woman, 86, Fourth to Die in Nursing Home Fire Here." St. Louis Star-Times, 16 March 1942, p. 14.

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