Settler’s wife burns while cooking dinner

1926 – “Harry, I am in flames,” Florence Muir cried. 

She had just put a pot of apples on the stove, and while walking to the table smelt something burning.

She looked down and saw her dress on fire, the flames quickly growing.

Her husband, Harry was having a rest as he waited for his dinner. It was about 1.30 on a Sunday afternoon.

He grabbed a blanket and rushed into the kitchen to find her clothes alight, and her body collapsed to the floor.

He immediately used the blanket to partly extinguish the flames, and his bare hands to tear away burning clothing not covered by the blanket.

Their daughter, 11, ran to the neighbours for help.

They discovered Florence badly burnt on the body, legs and arms, and in too much pain to be moved.

Neighbour Mr Richies immediately set off on horseback for Cowaramup, which was only recently gazetted as a town, to report the matter to Dr Rigby at Margaret River.

 However, they could not contact the district medical officer, and Dr Yates from Busselton, finally arrived at 10pm.

Poor Florence was given first aid and taken to the Busselton Hospital, where she died on Thursday.

For more stories from the Busselton Historic cemetery, click here.

Busselton, WA


The South-Western News, Friday 26 February 1926, p2

The South-Western News, Friday 26 February 1926, p3

Published by Sharyn Moodie

Travelling around Australia for work, I've found so many amazing headstones. But what is more amazing is the stories behind some of these deaths, and the way newspapers of the day reported them.

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