McDade Burning Accident, 1916


Wednesday 11th October 1916 was the date of a horrific accident, which claimed the life of a Blantyre lady.

Mrs Catherine McDade (nee Deeney) was the fifty year old wife of Patrick McDade, a miner. Catherine had been busy at home at 151 Main Street, High Blantyre, an address which at that time was closer to the cross at Kirkton, than the current number 151.

She was cleaning her home and with the aid of a lamp on that dark early evening, turned her attention to the porch. Losing her balance, she fell and the lamp she was carrying emptied its oil contents entirely over her clothing. It immediately ignited engulfing her in flame. Sadly, Catherine died from her injuries.

Such a burning accident was unfortunately not an isolated incident and a stark reminder how dangerous lighting our homes was prior to the arrival of electricity. We remember Catherine McDade here in this article.

From the forthcoming book, “Blantyre Explained”, by Paul Veverka (c) 2020
Photo: For illustration only.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Jackie MacDonald Probably related to me but don’t recognise her husbands name
Helen Robb Oh jeez, that’s horrific, poor poor woman, can’t even imagine her fear in those last few minutes of the life. Xxx
Irene Dickman Actually had to do a double take there…… my maiden name was Catherine McDade but don’t think we were related. Poor,poor woman
Rena Caullay My mother’s maiden name was Catherine mcdade too Irene, but don’t think there’s any relationship to that poor lady. X.
Irene Dickman You’re right Rena, no relation to us.
Elizabeth Weaver We forget how dangerous daily life was – between oil lamps, coal fires and even gas mantles, homes weren’t the safe places they are now. As children in the 50s, we were constantly warned to “stay back from the fire”, especially when wearing night clothes. We had a small spark guard when the fire was lit first thing – mainly to keep sparks from damaging the hearth rug – but no safety guard as such. As a young mother in the 70s, I still had coal fires but by that time we were using proper safety guards which kept wee ones well back from the fire. That poor woman
Robert Stewart Catherine was 56 when she died, and was interred in the common ground lair A 1260
Blantyre Project Thanks Robert. I’ve updated the post, trusting you more than i would a 1916 Hamilton Advertiser reporter. Appreciated.


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  1. This was a tragic death, but a meaningful discovery for me as she was an ancestor of mine who I knew little about other than that she’d died in a fire.

  2. Catherine’s name was Deeny spelling variations include Deeney and Dennie but her name was not Dennis. She came from Currin in Co. Donegal, Ireland.

    1. Hi Ger, you seem to have info about Catherine. I’d love if we could connect so I could learn more!

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