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A WOMAN AND HER INFANT BURNED IN BED. [by telegraph.] Hokitika, Sept. 22, Constable Stephenson, stationed at Kanieri, reported this morning the horrible death by burning of a woman named Margaret Hutcheson and her infant child, four months old, as follows :—David Hutcheson stated to him that his wife and child had been burned to death the previous night at their house on Tucker’s Flat, a short distance from Kanieri township. The constable visited the place and found the remains of the body. Both legs and one arm were burned away, and the the head partly consumed. No trace of the infant could be found. The house consisted of two rooms only. At eight o’clock last evening David Hutcheson returned from Kanieri, and found his wife lying on a stretcher in the kitchen or front room, and the baby was in the cradle alongside the stretcher. No conversation took place between Hutcheson and his wife, and the former went into the back room, where there were five children asleep. He then retired to rest, leaving his wife and the baby in the front room, in which room there was a little fire and a lighted kerosene lamp on the table. At about three a.m. he awakened by the glare of light and by volumes of smoke. He called to his wife, but got no reply. He then rushed into the front room, and found the inside walls all ablaze. He shook his wife, but shenever attempted to move. He could not get to the front door, which was burned, and he ran back to the bedroom, raised , the window and had barely time to put out the five children who escaped. By ■ that time he found it impossible to get into the front room again, and the neighbors endeavored to put out the fire, but their efforts were unavailing. The house and contents were entirely consumed. An inquest will be held to-morrow mom- ' ing. .

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 156, 23 September 1880

Word Count

FRIGHTFUL DEATH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 156, 23 September 1880