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A Family Suffocated by Gas.

The following horrible affair occurred in Now Jersey on June 28. It appears that John Gottfried, a German silk weaver, about eighty years old, employed in a silk mill, was last seen alive on Wednesday night, 26th June. He was then sitting in a chair smoking his pips in front of his house, at 59 Ryle o,venue, formerly Walter street, Paterson, New Jersey. Mrs Attilia Seifforth, who lives in the upper part of the house, not s|ping Gottfried the next day, and, noticing a strong smell of gas from the lower floor, notified it to the police, and about nine o’clock they broke open the door of Gottfried’s apartments. They were instantly driven back by the volume of gas that rushed forth. When this had become in some measure lessened they again ventured into the house. For a moment they were again repelled, this time with horror at the scene that met their gaze. In the middle of the floor a middle-aged woman lav dead in a pool of blood. Near her lay another woman halfdressed. She, too, was dead. Oa the other side lay a third woman, likewise dead. In a chair by a front window was the body of a pretty young girl about seven-

teen years of age. She looked as if she had been sitting there awaiting someone’s coming, and had fallen asleep. The officers, picking their way carefully over the prostrate forms on the floor, pressed on into a rear apartment. There Gottfried’s body was found. He lay on his back across a pile of bedding. Across his feet lay a man about thirty years old, evidently an He, too, was dead. On closer examination it was found that in the back room on s table was a gas stove connected with the pipes near the meter. The stopcock was but partly turned off. Appearances indicate that someone in turning off the gas had been careless, and a great volume of gas had been escaping for two days, filling both apartments so densely that after the house had been open for two hours the gas could be smelled a block or two away. From the appearance of the room it seemed as if there had been a high carnival, in the course of which the oldest woman, who was subsequently recognised as Kate White, had fallen down or had been violently thrown to the floor, sustaining a severe scalp wound, the blood from which had flowed on the floor. Sarah M‘Mally and Bella M'Mally were the other women found on the floor. Probably they were overcome and fell to the floor before they could get the door or window open. They were aged about thirty and twenty years respectively. The youngest victim was Emma Wright.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890926.2.25

Bibliographic details

A Family Suffocated by Gas., Issue 8022, 26 September 1889

Word Count
465

A Family Suffocated by Gas. Issue 8022, 26 September 1889

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