Sent from my October 25, 1896
A terrible catastrophe, which nearly resulted in the cremation of an entire family, comes from our neighboring village of Independence. Shortly before midnight on Sunday, the farm home of Frank Bautsch became enveloped in flames, spreading so rapidly that the family was forced to leap from the second floor to safety. Mr. and Mrs. Bautsch were burned badly, their hired girl fatally, and only Mrs. Bautsch’s father, Mr. Sygula, escaped with injury. Shortly before the fire started, a noise was heard and Mr. Bautsch saw someone outside the house, but could not make out who it was. After the fire was extinguished, a five-gallon can of oil was found to have been emptied into the house. Thus is seems there was a most dastardly attempt to cremate a whole family. Every effort will be used to find the fiend.