News From 1933

The Cedar Valley Daily Times
Wednesday, January 11, 1933

Blind Vinton Girl Badly Burned

Her Clothes Catches Fire Before Stove.

Stepmother of Miss Gladys Blank Strips Blazing Garments Off Body.


Vinton News

Blind and failing to realize she was standing too near a heating stove in her west Vinton home, Miss Gladys Blank, 23, musician and graduate of the Iowa School for the Blind here, was seriously burned about the body today when her flimsy clothing suddenly burst into flames.

Stepmother to Rescue.

Scrambling for help, the girl fled from the dwelling toward her stepmother, Mrs. Joseph Blank, who was gathering an armload of wood from a pile in the rear yard. Unmindful of her own safety Mrs. Blank stripped the flaming garments from the blind girl’s body. The stepmother escaped being burned.

Alarmed by the girl’s screams, several neighbors rushed to the Blank home. Among them was Mrs. George Hanover. She hastily summoned Dr. C. A. Manahan. He ordered the girl removed to Vinton city hospital. 

Belief that Miss Blank will live was expressed by Dr. Manahan after he examined and treated the charred blotches of skin and flesh. He classified the seared spots as being third degree burns. 

Talented Musician.

Although wrapped in flames several minutes, Miss Blank remained conscious. She dropped to the ground while her stepmother was tearing the burning garments from her body.  Her face was not burned. Hospital attendants said the burns on her body were serious.

Recently Miss Blank was granted a blind pension by the board of supervisors. For several years she lived in west Vinton with her father and stepmother. She graduated from the School for the Blind last year. Instructors at the institution said she is a talented musician.