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 Helen <I>Blanchard</I> Davis

Helen Blanchard Davis

Death 14 Dec 1955 (aged 21)
Burial Ashton, Fremont County, Idaho, USA
Plot Block K. Lot No. 1. Burial 4.
Memorial ID 10198754 · View Source
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Early Morning Tragedy…
Ashton Mother, Baby Die In Flames
(Special to The Post-Register)

ASHTON — A young Ashton mother and her baby died in an early morning fire, which destroyed their three-room frame home in sub-zero temperature Wednesday in Ashton.

Victims of the tragedy were Mrs. Drex (Helen) Davis, 21, and Michele, who was 10 months old Monday.

In the Ashton Hospital suffering from shock, smoke and cuts from broken glass is the distraught father who saved his two-year-old son, Michael.

All efforts of the volunteer firemen, who fought the fire in 15 degree below zero temperature, were futile. It was not until 10 a.m. that they were able to locate the charred body of the infant. The mother's charred body was found near a window; the baby's body four feet away.

Origin of the fire was not determined. All that is known is that Davis was awakened by the crackling flames about 2 a.m. Waking his wife; he grabbed Michael, broke the glass in the bedroom window and tumbled out on the snow-covered ground.

Intense Heat. When he discovered his wife had not followed with the baby, he tried to reenter the building but the heat was so intense he could not get through. In his nightclothes and with Michael under his arm he jumped into a car and drove a quarter of a mile to the Bob Hedrick home for help.

Running into the house, the frantic father gasped out "my house is burning", then collapsed.

The Hedricks, relatives of the victims, called the fire department and then started for the Davis home. It was sometimes later that little Michael was discovered huddled up in the seat of the car trying to keep warm.

The fire alarm was answered by both the Ashton volunteer fire department and the North Fremont Rural truck. The Davises were living in a house on the Maude Cherry placed, operated by William Steinmann, on the south edge of Ashton about a mile from the business district.

Bitter Cold. In the bitter cold morning air, some 20 fireman and volunteers turned their hoses on the house, by now a blazing inferno.

With the father in the hospital no one was certain whether or not the others had escaped but firemen spared no efforts until they were able to enter the building and found the mother's body near a window on the side of the house where a door had been nailed up to the winter. Some hours later the baby's body was found about four feet from where the mother lay.

Both bodies have been taken to the Kiser Funeral home, Ashton.

Firemen believe the victim was overcome as she tried to reach the window with the baby.

Mrs. Davis is the former Helen Blanchard, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Blanchard, well-known Ashton residents. She was born June 15, 1934 and attended the local school. On June 7, 1952, she was married to Drex Davis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Davis, Chico, California.

Besides her husband and son and her parents, she is surived by two brothers Jay and Terry Blanchard. —From the Files of The Post-Register (Idaho Falls, Idaho), Wed., December 14, 1955

The possibility that Mrs. Drex Davis stumbled over a cedar chest as she tried to follow her husband from their flaming home early Wednesday morning was expressed Thursday following an interview with the grief stricken husband and father.

Services for Mrs. Davis and 10-month-old daughter, Michele who both died in the early morning fire, will be Friday at 2 p.m. in the Ashton LDS Ward Church with Bishop Steve Osborne officiating.

Still in serious condition at the Ashton Memorial Hospital is her husband, who is suffering from shock, burns about the face and head, and cuts on the arms, hands and face.

In a barely audible voice, which is apparently affected by smoke the stricken father tried to Bishop Osborne, the only person permitted to visit him as yet, about the tragedy.

The bishop told an Ashton reporter than Davis broke open a door, which had been boarded up for the winter, for an escape passage for his family. He said that when he got outside with two-year-old Michael and found his wife and baby were not with him he tried to reenter the open door but was met with a sheet of fire. It was then that he rushed to the window and broke the pane with his hands and shouted to his wife but received no response. It was at first believed he had escaped through the broken window.

It was then that he jumped into the car with Michael and drove to the Bob Hedrick home for help. –From the Files of The Post-Register (Idaho Falls, Idaho), December 15, 1955

Date of Burial: December 16, 1955.

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  • Maintained by: Ryan D. Curtis
  • Originally Created by: John Warnke
  • Added: 1 Jan 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10198754
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Helen Blanchard Davis (15 Jun 1934–14 Dec 1955), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10198754, citing Pineview Cemetery, Ashton, Fremont County, Idaho, USA ; Maintained by Ryan D. Curtis (contributor 46858513) .