Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Then: The Fire Demon's Raison D' Etre

Jan. 18,1912--The Roscoe fire demon story has been raising more questions. What was the demon's motivation? Who was the demon and was the demon ever caught?

The first whiff of fire demon occurred when the Roscoe school building burned to the ground. The first notorious fire demon letter was sent to the Roscoe school board. The demon seemed to be hot under the collar about allowing tuition students to attend Roscoe schools. A new teacher, Florence Osborne, was hired to teach only tuition students. The school board took the illiterate letter as a bluff and told residents not to worry. Of course, the administrator's forgot to mention the demon's letter threatened to burn down the entire village.

The next building was a coal house. More letters. Then, the post office, a store and another building. (You can read about them in CTCN previous posts).

The state fire marshall's investigator found no clues. Local law enforcement started a door-to-door handwriting sample campaign. Bloodhounds were brought in.

Then, a teenage boy, named McNichols, stepped forward with a description of a man whom had seen at the LeRitelley store just minutes before the building went up in flames. More on this story later today.


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