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Ellen Clarke, a four-year-old daughter of Mr Harry Clarke, of Maori Hill, was severely inmit on Friday afternoon, and succumbed to her in juries on Saturday evening. Deceased had been left, along with her sister, in charge of a neighbor, and, while the children were playing on the verandah, she opened tho gate and entered her father’s house, tho door of which had been left unlocked. Mrs Adamson, the neighbor alluded to, ran out at the sound of tho child crying, and saw her standing in the road with her clothes burnt. It appears that when the child entered tire house she went up to the fire which was buring in the grate, and her clothes becoming ignited she received the injuries which ultimately caused her death.


An inquest was held at the Council Chambers, Maori Hill, this afternoon, before Mr Coroner Carew and a jury of six, of whom Mr J. Wilson was chosen foreman, and the following evidence adduced ; Harry Clarke, father of deceased, said that he left home on Friday morning last, ami was called on about four o’clock, and told that his daughter Ellon had been burnt. Witness wont to Dr Stirling, who sent him to a chemist with prescriptions for liniment, etc. Upon returning home witness found that tho doctor had not called, but he arrived shortly afterwards and attended to the injuries of deceased, adding when leaving that if any change was observed in deceased’s condition he was to be informed. Witness noticed a change ia deceased on Saturday last, and sent again for the doctor, who said he would come if possible. Dr Stirling did not come that evening, and deceased died that night. Dr Stirling explained that he was very unwell, and added that be could not have stopped the convulsions which seized the child. The doctor said that deceased was suffering from nervous shock to the system, caused by the severe burns received. The child was at a neighbor’s house on Friday, and the door of witness's house being open she must have gone back, and was there burnt. Jane Adamson, residing next door to tho last witness, said that deceased and another girl were left in her charge while Mr Clarke’s housekeeper went to town. Witness heard deceased open the gate and go out. She called out, and deceased said she would return directly, and witness then returned to her own house. Witness then heard deceased crying, and upon running out she saw the girl on tho road with her clothes burnt. The fire on the clothes had been put out when witness saw deceased, who was carried into her father’s house. Lime water and oil were applied to the injured parts, and in about an hour and a-balf Dr Stirling arrived. Witness had seen deceased at intervals after the burning, and thought that everything had been done to ensure recovery. A biscuit that deceased had iu her possession was found on the range, in which was a fire, and she told witness that she had been toasting a biscuit when her dress caught fire. Dr Stirling said that when ho arrived at Mr Clarke's house he found that deceased had been extensively burnt on the left side of tho chest and on the abdomen and thighs. The burns in some places were deep, and there were some slight burns on the arms, chin, and neck. Pain had apparently ceased, and the child was shivering. Witness applied remedies for the child, and left suitable instructions as to subsequent treatment. Witness had but little hope of deceased’s recovery owing to the severe nature of the burns. In witness’s opinion death was caused through nervous shock in consequence of the extensive injuries. Witness did not receive information of the change in deceased until it was too late—the messenger bad gone away. Witness was extremely unwell, suffering from severe neuralgia, and was unable to proceed to the house any sooner.

The Jury returned a verdict to the effect that deceased met her death from shock to the nervous system caused by accidental burning.

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Bibliographic details

DEATH FROM BURNING., Issue 7935, 17 June 1889

Word Count

DEATH FROM BURNING. Issue 7935, 17 June 1889

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