Military Escort for East Side Fire Victims’s Funerl
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Military Escort for East Side Fire Victims’s Funerl

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The funeral of the Spellman family took place yesterday.

Five of them–Samuel, 44; Irene, his wife, 39; Irving, 12; Lillian 10, and stanley, 8–were burned to death in the fire last Saturday at their home, 40 East 7th street.

Five coffins, surrounded by a military squad from Governor’s Island, the American Legion East Side Post No. 868, of which Samuel Spellman had been vice-commander, and Boy Scout Troop 219 of which Irving was a member were taken from the Jacob Fass & Son Funeral Parlor, 26 Avenue C to the American Legion post at 164 East 7th street, to the fireblackened tenement house in which they had lived, and then to the family synagogue, the Cqernowitz Buk Congregation, 224 East 5th stret. From there they were taken for burial to Mount Carmel Cemetery, Maspeth, L.I.

Hundreds of mourners massed outside the funeral chapel and along the streets through which the procession slowly moved. In the Funeral parlor relatives of the deceased, stood about the five coffine.They were grief-stricken Without, legionnaries and the boy scouts aided police in keeping the way clear for the bodies.


The funeral service, simple and impressive, was conducted by Rabbi Mordecai Stern, of the Jewish Center of Richmond Hill. When he mentioned the children who had died by fire , the mourners wept.

The conffin of Samuel Spellman was draped with an American flag, a tribute to his services in the American Army. The four other coffins were covered with black cloth, Imprinted with gold Hebrew lettering.

The bodies were carried out into the street, and the funeral procession formed. First came the colors of the Legion post, followed by the hearse bearing Speiiman’s body. It was guarded by the six, soldiers from the Sixteenth Infantry Regiment. Following them was a detachment from the post, Mrs. Speiiman’s coffin and those of the three children, and the Boy Scout troop which youthful Irving Spellman had joined three months ago.


The sky was gray. Along the streets people watched quietly from the sidewalks. They were orderly. Old women were sobbing, many knew the family intimately.: Children called, to their parents, anticipating a march.

Slowly, the column proceeded up Avenue C to Seventh street, and liicn stopped before the American Legion quarters. There Frank A. Marone, commander, read a prayer for the dead. A buglet sounded “Taps.” The procession moved on.

A. few doors down, they came upon the scene of the flrc. The house is brown and ghastly-looking, with broken windows and denuded walls. On the first floor hangs a sign that appeared to have been put up only recently. II reads “Apartment to Let-Renting Office.” A. small space in front of the house was roped off to bar trespassers.


In accordance with Hebrew orthodox rjtual, the funeral cortege encircled the building In which the deceased had met their end, moved up Seventh street, around Halt place, to Sixth street, and back to Second avenue.

From there the procession went to the Czcrnowitz-Buk Congregation, Rabbi Jacob Sirovich Talmud Torah. where the Spollman chll dren had studied Hebrew for four years. Irving, who was twelve a few weeks ago, was-preparing tor Bar Mitzvah continuation. Rabbi Isaac Shapiro, who was theli teacher, recited a short prayer.

The bodies were taken to Mount Carmel Cemetery, where under a leaden sky, with a salute of rifle fire from the military escort, Samuel Spellman and his family were buried.

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