After several hours of anguished waiting, and uncertain of the fate of their loved ones, the women saw the door to the church open. When they made a move to leave, the Germans immediately shut the door behind them. On the floor near the communion table they placed a large container from which cords protruded. The soldiers lit the cords and quickly left the building, locking the door behind them. Almost immediately there was an explosion, and a cloud of suffocating smoke filled the church.
Outside the Germans stood by and listened to the screams and cries of the women and children inside as they struggled to find an escape from the carnage. Under the pressure of their bodies, a door to the sacristy gave way. This escape route was blocked by German soldiers firing through the windows into the masses of women and children.
Miraculously one woman managed to escape the hell occurring in that once peaceful place of worship. Ignoring the flying bullets, and using the step ladder used to light the candles in the church Madame Rouffanche climbed to an open window above the altar. Once she reached he window she faced a nine foot drop to the ground below. Just as she was to make her leap to freedom, another woman had begun to climb the ladder with her infant son. Reaching the top of the ladder the woman threw her child out of the window and begged Mme Rouffanche to save her baby. Both women then leaped to the ground, however their escape had been noticed and gunfire killed both the mother and her child. Badly wounded by gunfire, Mme Rouffanche collapsed in the church garden between two rows of peas which hid here exhausted body for several hours.
Meanwhile, the horror continued in the church, as the Germans entered the smoldering house of worship and began to fire at the bodies which still showed signs of life on the floor. As before with the men, the soldiers covered the bodies with anything that would burn, and proceeded to set the church aflame.