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1934 - COLLEGE STUDENTS GAS VICTIMS WHEN FURNACE EXPLODED. NINE MEN PERISH TOGETHER WITH DOG IN FRATERNITY HOUSE AT HANOVER - ALL WERE POPULAR.
Hanover, N. H., Feb. 26. - (UP) - Nine Dartmouth college students who had gone to bed in their fraternity house early Sunday after an evening of gaiety, were dead today, suffocated in their sleep by carbon monoxide gas from a faulty furnace.
The tragedy was discovered by Merton D. Little, janitor, when he visited the Theta Chi house late Sunday afternoon. Dr. Ernest Martin Hopkins, president of the college, who learned of the tragedy while entertaining a group of the alumni at tea, withheld information for four hours, until all the bodies were identified and parents of the victims notified.
For the time being, at least, no restrictions will be placed on college activities, Dr. Hopkins said, because "it would tend to accentuate the sense of tragedy."
The victims were:
WILLIAM F. FULLERTON, 20, of Cleveland Heights, O.
EDWARD F. MOLDENKE, 21, of 130 E. 54th Street, New York City.
WILLIAM M. SMITH, JR., 21, Manhasset, L. I.
EDWARD M. WENTWORTH, JR., 21, Chicago, all seniors.
AMERICO S. DEMASI, 20, Little Neck, L. I.
HAROLD D. WATSON, 21, of Wilton, Me.
WILLIAM H. SCHOOLEY, 20, of Middletown, N.Y, all juniors.
JOHN J. GRIFFIN, 19, of 40 Williams St., Wallingford, Conn.
ALFRED MOLDENKE, 20, brother of EDWARD MOLDENKE, both freshmen.
A white Siberian sled dog, the fraternity pet, also was dead beside the bed of his asphyxiated master, WENTWORTH.
Eight other members of the fraternity, who also roomed at the house, were out of town over the weekend.
An examination of the basement convinced authorities the furnace had exploded, bursting a pipe which connected it with the chimney. Poisonous gas poured from the broken pipe and filled the house.
Five of the victims were found in a dormitory room on the third floor. The others were in private rooms. GRIFFIN'S body was found in a room on the second floor. He had been entertaining a half sister, Kathleen of New Haven, Conn., during the weekend. She left for home Sunday, unaware that he was dead.
Little made his grim discovery during a third visit to the house. In the morning he went to the students' rooms and saw them apparently asleep. Solicitously, he closed windows in two of the rooms because of the intense cold.
He found the smoke pipe of the furnace had been blown off during the night. He replaced it.
Little returned to the house at 1:30 p.m. and attended to his duties on the lower floor. He thought the students were at dinner.
Three hours later when he returned to make the beds, he entered the dormitory and found the students in the same positions as on his early morning visit. He notified Police Chief Dennis J. Hallisey and college authorities. Medical Referee Ralph E. Miller was called. He announced death was due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Most of the victims were prominent in extra-curricular activities.
FULLERTON was the manager of the editorial staff of the Daily Dartmouth, undergraduate newspaper. EDWARD MOLDENKE was advertising manager of the 1934 Aegis. His brother, ALFRED, was a member of the freshman basketball team. WENTWORTH was on the varsity soccer squad. DEMASI, a native of Fabrizia, Italy, was the college foils champion.
Piqua Daily Call
February 26, 1934
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