From the Skidmore News (Skidmore, Missouri), January 12, 1922, page 1:
W. L. Carpenter Home Burned This Morning.
Fire Discovered Shortly After Five O’Clock – Neither House or Contents Could Be Saved.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Carpenter, in the east part of town, was burned to the ground early this morning.
Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter had returned home Sunday, after spending several months in Atchison county, but had left yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Carpenter returning to Rockport, and Mr. Carpenter going to St. Joseph.
Shortly after five o’clock this morning, H. W. Montgomery was awakened by the smell of burning pine. He immediately investigated, examining his flue from basement to roof, but found nothing wrong. Mrs. Montgomery then went over to the Carpenter home and discovered that smoke was issuing from the windows and doors, although no fire could be seen. After calling the telephone operator and giving the alarm, Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery woke a number of the neighbors.
The fire had gained so much headway that nothing could be saved. If it had not been for the help which arrived, the Montgomery home would inevitably have been destroyed also.
How the fire got started is not known. There was no fire in the furnace, and the electric light wires were not connected. It was learned this morning that upon their return from Atchison county last Sunday, Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter found burnt matches on the floor and much of their clothing had been stolen in their absence. It is possible that the thief had returned for more and dropped matches which caused the fire.
Mr. Carpenter carried $4,500 worth of insurance on the home and $2,000 on the contents. This amount will not cover the loss, however, by several hundred dollars.