Indiana Co. Amish Woman Dies After Laundry Accident

SMICKSBURG (KDKA) — An Amish woman from Indiana County died this week after an accident while she was doing laundry.

Ella Miller, 32, was doing laundry in a pot over an open flame early Monday morning.

State police say she threw some kerosene on the fire in an attempt to intensify the heat, but that caused an explosion which caught her clothing on fire.

Miller suffered first, second and third degree burns. At her request, she was treated with home remedies by family and neighbors.

Miller died Wednesday morning after an infection set in. The cause of her death is listed as septicemia and severe thermal burns.

State police say no foul play was involved.

People in Smicksburg say a viewing was held Thursday afternoon and a private funeral is planned for Friday.

Neighbors say Miller leaves behind a husband and six children.

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  • JustSaying

    Yes but you have to remember, Dutchies are called the ‘plain folk’ for a reason. They don’t like to be dependent on anyone else and prefer their own ways to the ‘English’ ways. This concerns every part of their lives, not just medical. Their kids work in the fields, in sawmills and at other dangerous jobs at an age our society wouldn’t even let them walk alone. The young girls mow grass, using a reel mower, in their bare feet. It’s their beliefs and upbringing and who are we to say they’re wrong? It’s just a tragedy this young woman died.

    • Bryan

      3 words, Freedom of Religion.

      Come up with a valid religious excuse and you to will be exempt from any and all laws. Just like American Indians are allowed to grow, sell, and consume Marijuana and Pyote cactus

    • The Bruce

      Murder charges? Interesting. There isn’t a prosecutor on the planet that would take a case like that. I suppose it has something to do with the glaring fact that they hadn’t murdered anyone.

      How about this? What if they had told her to go to the hospital and the wagon in which she was riding got hit by a bus, killing her. Should they be brought up on murder charges because their advice turned out so badly?

    • Crystalina Ketterman

      this is true. it is important to allow people to follow their own beliefs, even though she MIGHT have survived had she gone to a conventional hospital. these people are stronger than most of us, so who knows if our medicine would have even worked?

      • Mike S.

        Stupidity is your strength no. No one is admiring you for your faith in yourself only. Its called tolerance, learn about it.

      • YES

        THANK YOU K.E. You are so right! Let “NO” return to the dust of the earth… soon, only to find out pronto and forever,,, that there is a GOD!

      • no

        Stupidity is not strength. I don’t admire you for your “faith” in a stupid mythical sky-being.

      • Dallas Roarke

        Actually, Amish can and do go to the hospital. We have a very large Amish population here in Indiana (state not county). They go to the hospital, use cell phones, drive tractors and backhoes, use gas powered weedeaters, and have propane run generators to run electricty in their barns, but not their homes. It is OK for work, but not the home, as long as they are not caught. (Yes, we have seen power cords across the roads running from a barn to a house)

        A lot of the decisions are made by the elders, if it is OK with them, they do tend to pick and choose which part of the “Bible” they want to follow ever since they split off from the Mennonites. Mennonites are more easy going, will drive cars, etc, but still wear close held together with pins vs buttons.

        The Amish believe that it is God’s will when bad things happen. They will try and take care of things themselves, but I know of a family down the road that lost their farm because they spent all their money on cancer treatments for one of their daughters. They are human, and all medicines would work on them, and for them, but they might have simply thought it was a burn, and an infection as something else. She might have died anyways. There are some bad things in the hospitals and around their farms.

    • Debin Texas

      And when our country falls apart they will be the only ones prepared and survive!

      • Jon D

        Actually I think when the bottom falls out they will not defend themselves.If some one knows otherwise, i would like to know, as I too admire their moxie .

    • David D

      I think they should be exempt. I think a lot of us should be exempt. There are too many laws.

    • Mike

      Because they are amish, now shut it.

    • Iben Hadd

      Empty craniumlogos
      Your right to be a Fascist a@hole, my right to wish you to drop dead.

    • Jason Wallis

      Where does it say she was in the workplace? She was in her own home, doing the family’s laundry. Do you have safety laws inside your house? Please stop demeaning the dead woman because you don’t understand the Amish way of life.

    • Sigve

      … and as a sufferer of an infection the hospital didn’t treat, bad things also happen at hospital.

    • Dolores E Leeson

      Because they do not take any funds from goverment and are self sustaining.They chose a way of life that is independent of outsiders. This is part of their faith. They trust in God. If tradgedy strikes they accept that it is the will of God and happens for a reason usually makes them stronger. I admire them tremendously.

    • Diane Emmerich

      Did you actualy read the article? She is an ADULT. This was her decision and her belief.

  • Suzykues

    This is a very sad story. Amish try to lead the simple life. She probably didn’t want the added expense of a hospital bill. Figured they could heal her. Alot of home remedies work well. Redrock100 and Koko, you are just showing your immaturity by making comments like you have. This woman lost her live, the children no longer have a mother, she never did anything to you.

    • Dave C

      It has nothing to do with not wanting the expense. As was clearly stated in the article, the Amish prefer living their lives their way. As an adult, she had the right to make that choice, and for now, all Americans enjoy that right.

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  • Nic

    Terrible, what a tragedy for her little children. The Amish are peaceful, gentle and very hard working people. The simple life really isn’t simple at all, it’s toiling from morning to night just to do the most mundane things. Can you imagine doing laundry by hand for a family of eight? More lke “the hard life”.
    You’ve got to admire such work ethic. My heart goes out to her family.

    • Crystalina Ketterman

      the woman was accidentally LIT ON FIRE. as strong as these people are, she probably never would have survived in a hospital anyway. it’s not ignorance on THEIR part, but yours.

    • Grandfunkkrr

      And it’s a shame that you are so ignorant that you don’t accept the religious beliefs of the Amish. Her children will be just fine, thank you. The reason is that their faith in God is more than the ignorance of people like you pushing your lifestyle and beliefs on others, demanding that people be like you.

      • dude

        I don’t accept the beliefs of any religion that aren’t based on fact or common sense. The Golden Rule for example makes a lot of sense. “God helps those who helps themselves”, that one makes a lot of sense. The part about “have faith and you’ll be healed” makes no sense to me. Mind over matter only works over long time scales, it doesn’t stop cancer and it doesn’t make burns heal. This woman should have gone to the hospital, but if she didn’t want to then that’s her right I suppose. However, that doesn’t mean I have to say it’s a smart move. I believe in Science and Minds that God gave us to use. Technology isn’t evil.

      • D

        She was being treated by known methods to heal her burns. How ever did people survive before modern hospitals? People practically treat doctors as Gods, but they aren’t anywhere near. Who’s to say that the treatments they were using are worse than what the hospital could have done for her? I have personal experience with the method the Amish were using for her and saw the results. It is unfortunate that an infection set in and killed her, but that may very well have happened at the hospital too.

    • diane

      No excuse for an ignorant comment like yours.

  • Wendy Miles

    Sounds like she didnt have a chance anyway. God Bless her family. By the way kdka just because she died doesnt mean she doesnt have children anymore.

  • Amish Woman Dies After Laundry Bursts into Flames [Terrible] |

    […] laundry the old fashioned way—over a flaming pot of boiling water. It appears the flames got out of control, consuming and killing her with burns. Well. […]

  • Ed

    God Bless the Amish and this woman’s family!!!

  • Bella

    This is a tragedy. I have one question: Why must the women do their laundry over an open fire while the men are out making money using computers and cell phones? Simple life? How about enslavement?

    • Reality Sandwich

      Do you even know what Amish people are and what they stand for?

    • The Bruce

      Thanks, Bella, that made me laugh out loud.

      You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Kingfish

      I think Bella Dbag suits u better, i know you got an A+ in ignorance!

    • John M

      Etremely ignorant you are.

    • Marbran

      What Amish man uses a computer or a cell phone in his work? I am around Amish all the time, and I’ve never seen them use either. If they have a need for either, they usually have non-Amish neighbors that they ask assistance from, as they do when they need a vehicle for something. Their choice is a religious choice: they toil with their own hands under the sweat of their own brows. It’s how they believe God wants them to live. At least they have morals and a work ethic.

      • kal

        I live in lancaster county pa. and many amish men use computers and have cell phones for their work. They also have Regular phones on the property. Those little outhouse buildings on their property are not out houses but actualy is where the landline telephones are. They just cannot be in the house. There are amish men in the volunteer fire departments here and they do carry the pagers for the fire companies. THey use modern ways for both personal and work related.

    • craniumlogos

      As one ex-Amishman said to me, “their life would be a lot ‘simpler’ if they just got electricity.”

    • Gavin

      You obviously know nothing on their lifestyle choices. Pitiful. Do some research.

    • Dave

      Enslavement? Seriously? Give it a break, Fembot.

    • Dee in Pa

      You are obviously totally ignorant about the Amish. Ther are no cell phones,computers etc.
      Time to go to the library to read uo on the subject.

      • rannetk

        Go visit a construction site where the Amish have a subcontract to do work… Sure, they arrive in a van with a non-Amish driver, but as soon as they hit their “job”, they jump right in the fork-lifts, tractors, etc. They use electric saws, generators, nail-guns, you name it. And yes, the Foreman, or owner of that company HAS to have a cell-phone or he gets no work. While I have much respect for the Amish and their ways, they understand that they will not continue to survive without “giving a little” here and their… plus, they LOVE their store-bought smokes! Just like any religion… the people are not perfect, some sin more than others…

    • swissik

      Is Bella a feminazi? Sounds like it and extremely ignorant too.

  • Jack

    It’s quite possible that she would have rather died than go to a public hosptial and incur the expense on her family.

    • angry

      what is wrong you with. corporate medicine? doctors in burn units save lives every day you ignoramus

  • dc23

    thecdn – you might want to investigate in the Amish rate of murder, rape, suicide and divorce and then make a comment about “religion being the worst thing that was ever created to control each other.” It’s that believe system that gives them their freedom from this earthly world.

  • dc23

    They receive no government financial support. They are totally independent and work for everything that have withou government help. What a wonderful life style that a community like this gives everything that it has to take care of each other without any hesitation.

  • LEL MN

    Would you have Government step in and regulate the Amish, or would you prefer “community” action ? I can assure you the six children will not become wards of the State.
    PS – Religion was not created to “control” anyone.

  • AmishParadise


    I agree about your comment about religion and control but I don’t think it really played a major role in this incident. People die in fires all the time. Doesn’t not matter if they are “modern” or not.

  • usa348902

    Do the Amish refine their own kerosene?

    • Jack

      They wouldn’t refine their own kerosene but they would buy it with hard-earned money they made selling their farm produce and hand-made furniture. That’s more than I can say for most Americans who either live off or cheat the government in one way or another.

  • Henry

    Bless this woman and her family.

    Not being heartless but I do have a question. Why was she using Kerosene? Kerosene is a product of industrial refinery. Aren’t they aginst that? Why not use more wood or coal to intensify the heat? I appreicate the Amish quaker and mennonite people. Some of it is backwarks but some of it is very beneficial. Just asking the question what makes some technology and products offlimits and what makes others acceptable.

    • Johann

      Kerosene has been around for a very long time. The Persians knew about distilling petrolueum into kerosene in the 9th century.

      • CarlNB

        Sounds like it was gasoline, not kerosens

    • Mike

      The Amish use kerosene in their lamps. Their lifestyle doesn’t mean they give up using ALL industrial products or modern conveniences (I’ve seen Amish purchasing laundry detergent in bright orange boxes, for example). It’s more a case that each community decides to place restrictions on whatever they feel is necessary to keep them close to their beliefs and from become too worldly. One community may restrict certain things while another community several miles away may not.

  • Tony Williams

    As for me and my house, we will believe the Lord. I thank God for my healing in the Name of Jesus. I still take my little girl to the doctor because God has and does perform miracles through medicine and surgery. In Jesus Name.

    • Jack

      Going to the doctor is biblical because one of the first commands that God gave to mankind was to subdue the earth and rule it. Ruling the earth means that we learn that we develop medicine and learn how to fight disease, amongst other things.

      • Crystalina Ketterman

        but if i were to learn all i can about home medicine and natural healing (aloe helps heal sunburns, and whatnot) then wouldn’t that be my way of ruling my part of the earth? if everyone learned as much as possible about medicine and important things in life, rather than just their OWN career, occupation, etc, then wouldn’t that be a better way to rule the earth? as a more educated, enlightened race? not dogging your beliefs, because you’re right, but if you know a ton about treating yourself, then why go to a doctor?

  • Laura

    And, ironically, her husband and family would be the first ones to forgive you for your harsh words against them.

  • Al

    Way back in 1988 I was in Lancaster, PA and happened to be stopped at a stoplight next to an Amish buggy. I glanced over and then did a double-take. The young wife in the buggy was, without question, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. She had no makeup, was wearing a bonnet, and her young husband was talking to her and looking at her with pure adoration on his face. I’ve never forgotten how sunningly beautiful she was.

  • JeddMcHead

    This is either God’s will or George Bush’s fault.

  • woodNfish

    The Amish are hypocritical idiots. They will use a diesel engine to provide power for belt driven power tools, but they will not use electricity. I wonder if they use battery-powered starter motors on those diesel engines?

    Even so,it is too bad about the poor delusional woman and the family she left behind.

    • The Bruce

      You might be confusing the Amish with the Mennonites.

  • Rupert Pupkin

    The Amish are probably the last Americans in existence that are truly living as free and liberated citizens as envisioned by our Founders under our constitutional republic. And you expect them to trade that all in because of one tragic accident. That’s the difference between you and them, you will sacrifice God given liberty and freedom for a little bit of “security”. Workplace safety??? :-\

    • dude

      No they live in a patriarchial society led by elders. You are not welcome to exercise you right to free speech there if it is contrary to the bible or what the Elder Men say. They have a right to lead their lives the way they want but it is certainly not democratic and women only have sway in the household, they have to voice in the way the community is led. So no, it is not how the forefathers envisioned society

      • Jocelyn

        Ummm, that’s not exactly true. Every Amish persona, male and female, have a time period in their teens where they are encouraged to explore the “English” or “fancy” world before they take a kneeling vow and “join church”. Once they do join all members are part of the voting body of the district. The women vote in the church during the spring and fall membership meetings and during other specially called membership meetings. It really does depend on the district leaders as to what warrants shunning or disciplinary action and what doesn’t. I also think that most Americans are very ignorant as to what the word influence really means. Just because women aren’t the elected leaders of the church doesn’t mean they don’t have influence. It is most often the women in patriarchal societies that have the most influence because they run the home and raise the children. Also, in my experience, the men in patriarchal societies value their wives and daughters and think of them as precious. Just because they don’t follow what fancy culture espouses doesn’t mean that they don’t have liberty or aren’t living out what the Founding FAthers envisioned. After all, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is what it says. When I look around at the culture I live in I don’t see many people looking like they are experiencing liberty, I see a lot of distracted, angry people who feel free to judge a religion and society they neither know anything about nor understand. It is tragic that this young mother died when she was not banned by her religion from going to a hospital, but no one made the choice for her. We don’t know that the Church Elders or her husband didn’t try to make her go to the hospital. Because the Amish don’t really speak to the media all we know is what’s printed above. Maybe you could try learning more about a culture before you decide they need liberating to you way of thinking.

  • Spellcheck Nazi

    You mean “She should have [GONE] to a hospital.”

    • Prince

      Spellcheck Nazi..

      The poor grammar on these posts will drive you crazy. I wonder whether some of these people ever went to school.

      Some more bloopers… ” Your ” instead of ” You`re” , “real smart” instead of ” really smart “, ” Definately” instead of ” definitely”. I could go on and on,

    • jamie

      get a life spwllcheck nazi..seriously

    • David Sparkman

      Sie haette in Kranknehous gegangen. so there!

      • swissik

        It is: Sie haette in das Krankenhaus gehen sollen, or: Es waere besser gewesen waere sie in das Krankenhaus gegangen. There are a hundred ways to make that statement in German.

    • looser

      guss u bin a loooser alll your life

    • illererate sam

      I be thinin she shudda went to the hospital two.

  • Amish Woman Dies after Freak Laundry Accident [Terrible] | Gadgets Geekly

    […] laundry the old fashioned way—over a flaming pot of boiling water. It appears the flames got out of control, consuming and killing her with burns. Well. More #dd_ajax_float{ background:none repeat scroll 0 0 […]

  • Rafer Hoxworth

    Of course, famous Theists like Mao and Stalin were never dangerous to anyone else.

    • Gavin

      You have named political theists, not religious. Carl Marx is an example of a societal theist that only theorized. If you would have said Mohammad I would have agreed, though.

      The amish cannot be classified in the same boat. They are a pacifist religion.

  • Rights First

    “Just Saying” “The young girls mow grass, using a reel mower, in their bare feet.”

    We know what you are up to. Conform to our ways or the next thing we will do is imprison you people for your backward ways.
    They can’t say it, so I will say it for them. “Just Saying” … you phoney, go @&%$ yourself!
    Arcsholes like you would like to see everyone under the jack boot.

    • JustSaying

      No, I have more respect for the Amish than for most ‘English’ folk, especially ones like you! I have been interacting with the Amish my entire life and have nothing bad to say about them. You on the other hand post one comment and I’ve had my fill of you!

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