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Narrow Escape

Hugh Rooney and Family Narrowly Escape Death by Fire

Bangor township in the county was the scene, on Tuesday evening of last week, of a terrible fire caused by a bolt of lightning, during the rain and thunder storm on that evening, the house of Hugh Rooney of the village of Brooten was struck by lightning and almost instantly burned to the ground. The bolt entered the chimney, scattering the brick all over the lower floor, Mr. Rooney was partially stunned by the shock but recovered his physical and mental activity in an instant and with the assistance of his wife managed to rescue the children who were asleep upstairs, by Mrs. Rooney handing them out through the window from which she afterward jumped herself. In their scant night clothing they made their way in the drenching rain to the house of a neighbor where they were sheltered through the night. Some of the children were obliged to stay in bed the next day until kind neighbors came to their assistance with clothing. Mrs. Rooney who was in a delicate condition, gave birth to a child after reaching the neighbors house, the excitement and exertion no doubt hastening the process of parturition. According to latest report mother and baby as well as the other members of the family were getting along all right. It certainly was a narrow escape from death on part of these people, wither by the electric strike or the fire it instantly originated. The loss to Mr. Rooney is a severe one, as he is a poor man, but he may consider it a fortune that the lives of his dear ones were saved.

Taken from the Glenwood Herald of June 9, 1899, page five col 1
typed by the Pope County Historical Society on September 18, 1972 by Muriel Mattson