Monday, November 7, 2011

Harold Cane - 1932

Harold Cane - 1932

From the Laurel State Register Oct 7, 1932


Delmar Man and Wife Are Overcome When Pipe Is Broken Off


A man and his wife were asphyxiated at Delmar Friday night by gas fumes after the husband, Harold Cane, is said to have broken a gas pipe while repairing a minor leak.

The bodies were found at about midnight under the Cane home by a group of neighbors who had started a searching party when one of them was attracted to the place by the crying of the Canes' child, Marie, aged 11.

Cane it is believed, had gone under the house to repair a minor leak, and while making the repairs had broken the pipe off a few inches above the ground causing an increased gas flow. His wife, in trying to rescue him is believed to have died shortly after going under the house as a result of the fumes.

The crying of the child, together with a strong odor of gas, had Glen Hastings, a neighbor, to investigate. Hastings, who had started to retire for the night, dressed and went to the Cane home. Making his way through the gas filled home he reached the child's bedroom and took her to the Hastings home. He was nearly overcome in rescuing the child.

In the meantime other neighbors had gathered and a search was made through the house for the child's parents. Several members of the rescue party were overcome during the search.

The Citizens Gas Company, Salisbury, was notified to shut off the flow of gas as no wrench could be found in the local office. After the flow had been stopped the search was resumed and the bodies were discovered under the house. Both were lying face down.

The child was said to have been sleeping at the time of the tragedy. She is believed to have been awakened by the strong odor of gas, and, being unable to find her parents, started to cry.

Cane operated a service station at the corner of Delaware Ave. and State Highway in Delmar.

The girl said it was shortly before midnight when the odor of escaping gas was noticed. Her father took an electric flashlight and climbed through a trap door to crawl to the leak four yards away.

When he failed to return, Mrs. Cane went through the door to investigate. She also failed to return.

Receiving no response to her calls, Marie summoned neighbors. At the same time, first aid crews from the Salisbury, Md. Fire Department were called and three physicians brought to the home.

William Culver, Jr. an employee of the gas company, was overcome when he turned off the gas to permit the rescue of the couple and was not resuscitated for more than an hour. L. D. Short, who with the others cut a hole in the floor to gain access to the bodies, also was temporarily overcome.

Cane was 42 years old.

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