On this blog, I have presented tales of homes plagued by Mystery Blood, Mystery Explosions, Mystery Doorbells, Mystery Shaking, Mystery Floods, and Mystery Satanic Garden Hoses. This series of domestic Fortean horrors continues today with a Mystery Fire. This account of a baby's peculiarly horrifying death comes from the (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) "Democratic Banner" for September 22, 1916:
Funeral services were held today for the seven-months-old child of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Nauman, north of here which was cremated yesterday while lying in its crib, by a fire of singular mystery.
The mother of the child was away from the house, leaving her children in charge of the baby. Charles Little, enroute to Fredericktown with a milk shipment, noticed smoke issuing from the Nauman home and rushed in. He proceeded to the room where the infant child lay and, seeing that the crib was the only thing afire, grasped the child therefrom and rushed out into the yard. The child died in his arms.
The origin of the fire is an utter mystery. The flames were confined entirely to the little crib.
I have not found anything more about the Nauman baby's death, so it is hard to even make a guess what happened. I would also like to know the ages of the other children who were left "in charge" of the infant, as well as where they were when the fire started.
From this little information we have, one of the first things that comes to mind is "spontaneous human combustion." Of course, there probably was a more "normal" explanation for the fire, but evidently everyone who was on the scene at the time had no idea what that explanation may have been.
As we like to say around this blog, make of it what you will.