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FROM THE VAULT: 11-year-old braves flames, saves sister

By Staff | Jun 3, 2016

Fire Saturday morning completely destroyed the Louis Bachmeier farm home (7 miles west and 7 south of Rugby). Nothing was saved. That was bad enough, but things might have been infinitely worse but for the courage and quick thinking of 11-year old Clara. She was in the house doing dishes when she realized that there was fire in the basement. She knew her sister Beatrice, 2, was in the bathroom down there. As the fire broke out in the furnace area, by the time Clara came for Beatrice, flames already buried her path. She tried them but her clothing caught fire. She retreated and after wetting her clothes for protection, dashed thru the flames to rescue her sister. Clara fell momentarily as she neared the top of the basement steps, partially overcome with gas and smoke. Clara suffered burns about her ankles and legs, her left arm, and her hair was singed.

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Bachmeier were not at home when the fire broke out. They had been at Onamia, Minn., to get their son, Johnnie, who had been attending Crosier Seminary.

– Tribune Archives, June 5, 1952.

Retyped by Piper Laughridge, Tribune Intern

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