South Yorkshire Times, January 11, 1969
Three Leap To Safety in Blaze Drama At Bolton
Pet Dog Dies As Fire Sweeps Through House
Three members of a Bolton family jumped 15 feet from a bedroom window to safety as fire swept through their house early on Tuesday morning.
Mr. Charlie Smithyman (45), his wife Olive (43) and 11-year-old daughter Adele were in bed at their home, 35, Carrfield Lane, when the barking of their Jack Russell Terrier, Patch, roused them.
Mr. Smithyman managed to get downstairs and warn neighbours. He ran back into the house, however, and eventually jumped from the bedroom window with his wife and young daughter. Neighbour, Mr. Arthur Markham, of 87, Ringway, said: “Mr. Smithyman dashed into my home in his pyjamas just before 7 a.m. and said his house was on fire. We ran outside and heard Mrs. Smithyman shout from the bedroom window that she was going to jump. Charlie then ran back into the blazing house and. went upstairs. Eventually all three of them jumped from the bedroom window into the garden.
“I took them into my house ‘and phoned the fire brigade
Sheet of Flame
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked out of the window—the house was just one sheet of flame.
“Although the house was completely gutted the blaze was over in about 15 minutes, though there was dense smoke for a long time.”
Mr. Markham’s wife, Olive, said that neighbours thought they had heard an explosion, but neither her, nor her husband had heard one.
Next-door neighbour, Mr. John Andrews, said he had been awakened by shouting and on looking out saw that Mr. Smithyman’s house was enveloped in flames and smoke.
Mr. Smithyman’s 16-year-old son, Kelvin, who works for International Harvesters, Doncaster, was at work when he heard news of the fire and was rushed back to the house.
He told a “South Yorkshire Times” reporter: “I lit the fire when I got up this morning and put the fire-guard up before leaving for work.
“I received a phone call at work and dashed home.
“It appeared that my parents and sister jumped to safety, but Patch was trapped downstairs and died In the blaze.”
A fire brigade spokesman said: “The flames were soon extinguished, but the house was completely gutted.”
Mrs. Smithyman and her daughter were detained at Mexborough Montagu Hospital but a spokesman said that neither had been burned. Mrs. Smithyman, who is being treated for a back injury, was yesterday (Thursday) said to be “improved and satisfactory”. Adele, who is being kept in for observation is “quite comfortable”.
Mr, Smithyman was taken to the hospital, but was then allowed to go to his daughter’s home at 8 Frederick Street, Goldthorpe.