DOWN WITH A CRASH: Mother And Babe Buried In Ruins Of Their Home

“DOWN WITH A CRASH: Mother And Babe Buried In Ruins Of Their Home.” The Sun (1837-1988). May 21, 1902.


Mother And Babe Buried In Ruins Of Their Home.

With the total collapse of the three-story brick dwelling 807 South Dallas street shortly before 9 o’clock yesterday morning members of two families narrowly escaped with their lives and were rendered homeless, and all their savings, clothing and household effects lie burled in the debris.

The families are Mr. and Mrs. John Kaiser and their 5-months-old daughter, on the second floor, and Mrs. Margaret Dripple and five children, on the third floor.

The lower floor had been used as a stable, but was unoccupied. ‘

Mr. and Mrs. Ivalser and their baby were in their rooms, while John Dripple, 19 years old, was the only occupant of the upper flat. His sister Margaret was on a drying platform in the rear of the house hanging out clothes. This platform, being disconnected with the main building, was not carried down.

When the south wall of the building gave way Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser and their baby were precipitated into the stable beneath.

Mrs. Kaiser was found tightly clasping her baby, hemmed in between heavy beams and rafters, while above and all around her was a mass of brick, mortar, wrecked furniture and bedding. Directly over her and supported only by a few bending lathes was a large cook stove, apparently ready to topple at the slightest jar.

Mr. Isador Bucher, 213 Pratt street extended, Highlandtown, a foreman employed in the reconstruction of the Thiemeyer box factory, across the street, and one of his employes, Charles Ray, colored, succeeded in extricating the imprisoned woman and her babe from their perilous position after much difficulty. They were both amazed, they said afterward, to find the mother and child unscathed, save a slight scratch on the baby’s leg.

John Dripple came tumbling from the third floor with a rain of bricks and mortar, heavy timbers, the household effects and the heavy tin roof crashing after him, and yet he, too, escaped with a slight scratch on his right arm.

One side of the floor supports remained fast to the adjoining building on the north, but the other crashed over into the vacant space formerly occupied by two dwellings recently pulled down at the instance of Building Inspector Preston; who declared them to be unsafe.

The dwelling which collapsed was a ramshackle old brick structure, the south wall of which was but four inches thick. It is supposed that with the adjoining building removed the strain was too great.

At the time of the accident Mrs. Dripple and her other children were in the house of Mrs. Rebecca Samuel, 810 Bond street, which abuts the ruined house, and who owned the wrecked property. The Dripple and Kaiser families are now quartered with Mrs. Samuel. In the ruins is a bag containing $13 in currency and a bankbook with $20 entered to the credit of one of the Kaiser family.

A purse containing $5.25, belonging to Mrs. Dripple, was found in the debris and returned to its owner by Officer Bowling, who was early upon the scene. In a wardrobe belonging to the Dripple family young John Dripple says there is $3 in notes, placed there by his mother shortly before the collapse.

The two dwellings 803 and 805 South Dallas street.were greatly weakened by the strain, and cracks and seams appeared in the front walls. These houses were temporarily occupied by a number of berry-pickers, all of whom were ordered to seek other quarters by Building Inspector Preston, and the two buildings placarded as condemned.

Both Mrs. Dripple and Mrs. Kaiser said that all they possessed in the world lay burled in the ruins of their former home.