Steubenville Herald-Star, Monday, December 4, 1950, front page 

John Gall, Wife, Four Children Die – Parents Decline to Jump or Toss Tots From Home
Smoke from a fire burning below their second-floor apartment killed a family of six at 4:40 a.m. Sunday near Dillonvale.

The entire family of John Gall, 37, proprietor of Johnny’s Inn, suffocated, Dr. John P. Smarrella, Jefferson County coroner, said. The Inn is located on Route 151[should be Route 150].

Dead were Mr. Gall, his wife, Anna, 33, and children Patricia, 9; Barbara, 4; Joann, 6 and John III one year.

The fire broke in the first floor of the building, where the inn is located. Mr. Gall and his family lived in the apartment on the second floor.

Defective Motor Blamed – Only the inn was damaged by fire. Flames never reached the apartment.

The fire was blamed on a defective refrigerator motor by Fire Chief Carlo Besece of Dillonvale.

The fire was discovered by Frank Rose, a neighbor, and his brother, Andrew, who had just arrived home from work.

Mr. Rose said he had been informed by his wife on his arrival that firemen had dynamited an ice jam in Piney Creek, which flows nearby, to prevent a flood. He said he had left the house to see whether the creek was rising. As he was about to re-enter his home he said, “I heard an explosion and saw that the first floor of the tavern was in flames.”

Fire Company Called – “immediately called the Dillonvale Fire deparment,” he continued, “then ran to the tavern with my brother, Andrew, to rouse the Galls.

“We saw John Gall standing on a porch off of the second floor shouting for help. We tried to reach him with a ladder but it was too short, “Mr. Rose said.

“We then called to John to throw us the children,” Mr. Rose explained, “but he shook his head and walked back through the door. He appeared to be dazed.”

“We were then attrach[k]ed to the window,” Mr. Rose related, “where Mrs. Gall, holding two of the children in her arms, was screaming for aid.”

Decline to Toss Children – Mr. Rose said he and his brother attempted to use the ladder again but found it too short. Attempts to get her to throw the children out to them proved fruitless.

Answering their pleas - Mrs. Gall said, “No, we want to get them all out, the roof is coming in,” she said. She backed away from the window and was not seen again.
The Dillonvale fire department arrived at the scene and short time later fire departments from Mt. Pleasant and Smithfield.

When firemen arrived at the scene they ran ladders to the second floor and entered with gas masks on their faces. They were forced to feel their way through dense smoke but finally reached all members of the family who were in a bedroom at the rear of the apartment.

Firemen said Mr. Gall and his wife were sprawled across the bed with two children. A third child was found sitting in a chair and a fourth lying on the floor.

Rushed to the Hospital – the six members of the family were rushed to the Martins Ferry Hospital where they were pronounced dead.

Chief Besece, investigating the blaze with Deputy Sheriff Frank Casshie after it was extinguished said all the evidence points to a defective motor in the refrigerator located on the first floor.

“The basement was intact,” the chief said, “with the exception of charred joists directly below where the motor was located.

He pointed out that smoke entered the second floor apartment through heat registers, with the exception of curtains directly over the registers, “nothing was burned on the second floor,” he said…

History of the Family – John Gall Sr. had been a resident of Dillonvale for the last three years, moving there from Piney Fork.

Mr. Gall was president of the Pine Valley Sportman’s Inc., of Dillonvale, the I.O.O.P. at Smithfield, the Slovak Lutheran Church at Steubenville and the Dillonvale Aerie of Fraternal Order of Eagles.

He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Ma[i]chael Swartz of Weirton. His father, John Gall, died early this year, and his mother preceded him in death in 1941.

His wife, Mrs. Anna Miller Gall, was born Nov 13, 1916 at Dillonvale. She was a member of St. Adalbert’s Church.

She is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Miller of Dillonvale; five brothers, Charles, Edward, Stanley, Mitchell, and Joseph Miller Jr. all of Cleveland, and three sisters, Mrs. Bertha Horsky, Mrs. Helen Pensis and Moss Theresa Miller of Dillonvale.

Patricia Ann Gall was born April 22, 1941, in Los Angeles, Calif. She was a member of St. Adalbert’s Church and was in the fourth grade at St. Adalbert’s School.

Johanna Maria Gall was a member of St. Adalbert’s Church and in the first grade at the school. She was born in Steubenville Nov. 13, 1944.

Barbara Elaine Gall was born in Steubenville, Dec. 1, 1947.

John Gall III was born in Martins Ferry, Dec. 8, 1948.

Friends will be received at the Turel Funeral Home after 3{?} p.m. today.