[Sca-cooks] Falling into the fire (was Re: Childsafing)

Kerri Martinsen kerrimart at mindspring.com
Fri Aug 15 13:37:18 PDT 2008

heck.  Even adults fall into fires and get burned.
Anyone remember that Survivor episode? Airlifted out after inhaling too much
smoke and passing out into the fire.


On 8/15/08, Christiane <christianetrue at earthlink.net> wrote:
> Master A. wondered:
> >On a marginally related note, I remember always being mystified by the
> >claims that such-and-such-a-child or woman in some historical setting
> >died after "falling into the fire". But add things like corsets on the
> >victims and thermal updrafts in a large fireplace, not to mention
> >smoke and carbon monoxide, and it starts to seem like a more viable
> >concept.
> I had wondered about that too ... I was reading "Plain & Fancy," which is
> about American women's needlework in the 17th and 18th centuries, and it
> referred a lot to the 18th century Philadelphia Quaker diarist Elizabeth
> Drinker, who noted the death of a toddler who fell into the fire and died of
> burns (this was in the chapter about sewing for the home and for families).
> Then I recalled the kitchen demos at Pennsbury Manor and the Isaac Potts
> house at Valley Forge (where Washington stayed), and their fireplaces.
> Pretty much, these fireplaces are huge and deep (you can stand inside them),
> with no fireplace guards, and the hearth in front of the fireplaces would
> have little piles of hot coals raked out for Dutch ovens and other pots to
> use as a heat source further from the fire. Fireplaces in most homes weren't
> that much different in construction and use; smaller, but not much smaller,
> and still with a hearth you can walk across, and that takes up much of the
> floor space in a tiny room (like the working class person's house in
> Washington's Crossing Park). So imagine if you were a klutz and stepped on a
> marble, a toy, a piece of food, or even an errant piece of wood or a hot
> coal ... and there are some piles of hot coals and ash on the hearth. Or
> you're a toddler just wobbling around and not being well watched. And you're
> wearing linen or cotton
> instead of the recommended wool.
> I'm just surprised there weren't more deaths like this recorded!
> Gianotta
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