The Shelbyville Republican
Mrs. John P. Fairbanks, [Della] 44 years old, died Sunday morning at 12:45 o'clock from burns
received Saturday night, when a coal oil lamp which she was attempting to fill while it was lighted,
caused an expolsion.
Monday, March 4, 1918 edition
Page 1, column 3
OIL LAMP EXPLODED
BURNS CAUSE DEATH
Mrs. John P. Fairbanks Attempting To
Fill Lamp While It Was Lighted
Funeral Held Monday
Mrs. Fairbanks suffered deep burns over the body and on the face. She was covered with the
flaming oil which had been scattered over the room by the explosion. Running into the yard of her
home at 336 East Franklin Street, screaming for help she was caught by Andy Lee, a Boy Scout,
who threw his coat about Mrs. Fairbank's body in an attempt to put out the flames. The woman was
carried into the home of Miss Mollie Schoelch, where she died several hours later.
During the excitement caused by the incident, bystanders forgot for the time that the Fairbank's
house had been fired by the oil. When the fire department was summoned the blaze had accured
much headway and had damaged the building and contents to the amount of $250. The house be-
longed to the estate of Matthias Schoelch. Valuables were removed by the police. The Scouts
rendered aid during the fire.
It was stated that Mrs. Fairbanks had always filled the lamp while it was burning. The accident
which caused her death occurred on the 25th anniversary of her marriage. Funeral services were held
this afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the Liberty U.B. Church and burial was made in the church cemetery.
Ralph J. Edwards in charge. Mrs. Fairbanks leaves her husband, three sons, two daughters, all at
home; two sisters, Mrs. Martha Anderson, of North Dakota, and
Mrs. O.P. McNamara,
near New Palestine; five brothers, Perry Goulding, Shelbyville;
Harry Goulding, North Dakota;
Edward Goulding, Indianapolis; Leslie Goulding, North Dakota; and
Claude Goulding at
Camp Shelby, Miss.
Dr. G.I. Inlow, county coroner, was in Shelbyville today conducting an investigation of the inci-
dent that resulted in the death of Mrs. Fairbanks. Dr. Inlow was told that several explosions had
resulted from oil which had been purchased at a grocery in east part of the city. It was reported that
the grocer had sold gasoline for oil but this was found to be untrue.
Oil Being Analyzed
An analysis of the oil was being made today for the Standard Oil company by chemists. A report
is expected soon.
Submitted by Rochelle Riordan