Sarah Rowe  (1870 - 1901)

Sarah Rowe (b: 9 Jul 1870 Huirangi, Taranaki dau. of William Rowe and Honor nee Dawe She d: 26 Sep 1901 Huirangi where she was buried)

Opunake Times; 1 Oct 1901: On Friday last the New Plymouth police received information that Mis Sarah Rowe, 30 years of age, had been burned to death in her bed the previous night. Mr W Rowe her father, went to call her at 5.30 on Thursday morning and getting no response, went into the room, and was horrifed to find his daughter dead in bed. The body was terribly burned. The surroundings indicated she had been suffocated in her sleep. It is surmisd the bedclothes became ignited through a lighted candle falling on the bed and the absense of draught probably prevented the fire from breaking out and destroying the house.

Waitara News 27 Sep 1901: September 27. An inquest on the body of Sarah Rowe was held yesterday, afternoon, before Mr J. Puidie, J.P., at the residence of deceased's father. Mr J. Lang was chosen foreman of the jury. Evidence was given by Mr W. Rowe, who deposed to having last seen his daughter in the kitchen at 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday, when he retired to bed. Early on Thursday morning heard a voice twice, which he thought was the Maoris at the pa opposite. Arose at 5.30, and smelt smoke in the kitchen. Called his daughter, but got no reply. Went into her bedroom and found the room full of' smoke. Tried to feel for her feet and cilled for bis son. The mattress was smouldering. With his son's assistance he got the fire subdued.. Deceased had not been well for the past two months and had been under Dr. Leatham's care, but had sufficiently recovered to dispense with his services. She was cheerful and appeared well. Was not aware that deceased was in the habit of reading in bed. Had never before known her to leave a candle alight and go to sleep. J. T. Rowe, brother of deceased, gave corroborative evidence as to seeing deceased in the evening. Was called by his father early in the morning, he saying Sarah was burned to death. Went with him to his sister's room, where they found the body lying in bed. Did not hear any noise during the night. Had heard his sister say she sometimes read in bed at night. * The verdict of the jury was that the deceased, Sarah Rowe, was found burned to death in her bed at Huirangi, and the jury are of the opinion that there was no evidenoe to show how the fire originated. Constable Beattie conducted the case on behalf of the police

TARANAKI DAILY NEWS,  28 SEP 1901
The inquest on the body of the unfortunate young woman, SarahRowe, daughter of Mr. Wm. Rowe of Huirangi, who was burned to death in her bedroom during Wednesday night, was held by Mr. J. Pardie, J.P., at Mr. ROWE'S residence on Friday.

Evidence was given by the father to the effect that he found his daughter's bedroom full of smoke about 5.30 on Thursday morning and with his son's assistance subdued the fire. Deceased was cheerful and appeared well and so far as his father knew was not in the habit of reading in bed. The brother of the deceased stated that he heard no noise during the night, but had heard his sister say that she sometimes read in bed at night.  The jury returned a verdict that there was no evidence to show how the fire originated.