Archiver > NYBROOKLYN > 2003-07 > 1058412628

From: Margaret Ransom <>
Subject: [Bklyn] Brooklyn Standard Union,June 10,1929-Death in the News
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 23:30:28 -0400

Brooklyn Standard Union
June 10, 1929

Death in the News


Neighbor Saves Two Children From Oil Man’s Home

Mrs. Margaret CASTERTON, 23, wife of John Ward CASTERTON, general
purchasing agent for the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, was burned to
death early today in a fire that destroyed the interior of the CASTERTON home
in the exclusive Montrose section of South Orange, N. J.
CASTERTON and his two children by his first wife, Jean, 10, and Robert, 12,
were rescued by Clifford W. ALLSOPP, their next-door neighbor.
The fire was discovered at about 1:50 o’clock this morning by Miss Mary
STRICKA, a maid in the ALLSOPP home. She aroused the household and Mr. ALLSOPP
ran to the CASTERTON home. He found CASTERTON on the roof of the sun parlor
screaming for help and at intervals turning to a window and shouting “Peggy!”

Catches Jumping Child

ALLSOPP got a ladder and half helped, half carried CASTERTON to the ground.
CASTERTON was dazed, ALLSOPP said. Leaving CASTERTON in care of other
neighbors who had come to the fire, ALLSOPP went to a window on the south side
of the house, where little Jean stood, screaming for help. He set up his
ladder. It was four feet or so too short. But he ordered the child to jump and
caught her, carrying her to the ground safely.
Robert, who had first called for help from the third floor, made his way to
the window from which his sister had been taken and was rescued in a similar
When the fire department arrived the firemen were informed by the
neighbors, who had not seen the rescues, that the two children were still
inside the house—which was a blazing furnace—and while some laid hose the
others braved the flames and smashed in through the windows to search the
house for the children. In a front room off the sun parlor, they found Mrs.

Defective Wiring Blamed

It was carried to the home of a neighbor where Drs. F. COOK and L. M.
DEMAREST worked over it with a pulmotor for more than an hour before finally
declaring that Mrs. CASTERTON was dead.
The body was then taken to Kunz’s morgue where an inquest will be held
probably late today or tomorrow.
Virtually all of the contents of the house were destroyed. In the charred
wreckage of a dresser, firemen found a jewel case containing diamonds and
other gems worth several thousand dollars. Although the case was charred, the
contents were undamaged.
Fire Chief BECKER said the first was caused by defective wiring.

Transcribed for the Brooklyn Information Pages by Margaret Ransom

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