A Child Burned to Death at Pensarn.

An inquest was held at the Square and Compass Pensarn, on Monday - before Mr W Buckley Roderick, coroner for the liberty of Kidwelly - touching the death of Elizabeth (aged 10 weeks), daughter of John Davies, tinman, Pensarn.

Mary Ellen Davies, the mother of the child, said that on Friday, at 3.15 pm, she placed the deceased in a cradle on the settle by the side of the fire. She then went out to get some water from the "pistill" - about 50 yards away. She was not five minutes away when a little boy called her back.

When she returned she found the baby in a blaze. The portion of the clothes nearest the fire had caught; there were clothes hanging over the side of the cradle. The cradle was less than a yard away from the fireplace. There was not much of a fire in the grate; but it was burning brightly. There were some clothes on a line over the grate, but they were not burnt. She had also left in the house the other little girl, "Maggie" - aged one year and five months. She had left a piece of stick in the fire just before she left. When she came back she noticed it was burning; but she did not observe it "shooting." It was some of the baby's napkins and piece of flannel which were hanging over the cradle. The clothes on the breast and the arm were burning. She took the child out of the cradle, and took its clothes off. She sent for a doctor, who arrived in less than half-an-hour. The child died at 10.15 pm on Saturday.

William Lewis, aged 9 years, son of William Lewis, Victoria Place, Pensarn, said he was passing the house about 3.15 pm on Friday, when he saw little Maggie standing on the doorstep. The door was quite shut; he had to turn the handle to go in. He pushed open the door, and saw the baby on fire. He called the mother at once. He did not go into the room.

Dr C P Parry, Carmarthen, said he was called to the house that afternoon. He saw that the child was badly burnt about the face and chest; it was crying. Linseed oil had been applied to the burns. He suggested suitable treatment; he saw it an hour later. The following day he saw it; it then appeared to be comatose. The child could not take any nourishment on Saturday, because its mouth was stiff and swollen. Death was due to shock, the result of the burns.

The mother, recalled, said that the child Maggie could not have gone out herself.

The Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental Death."

Source - The Carmarthen Weekly Reporter 16th October 1896

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