Alameda, CA Masonic Temple Gas Explosion, Dec 1904


Exciting Time in Masonic Temple During Festivities of Carita Chapter of Eastern Star.

ALAMEDA, Dec. 16 - The members of Carita Chapter No. 115, Order of the Eastern Star, were bombarded by a gas explosion at the banquet after the regular meeting last night in Masonic Temple, and while fortunately, the loud detonation resulted in no casualties, the members of the party were given a fright, and one lady fainted. The explosion occurred in the kitchen just off the banquet hall. The new officers had performed their duty for the first time, and after the regular ceremonies the ladies and gentlemen [illegible] to the room above, where a dainty repast had been prepared.

The secretary, Miss Ada Nobmann, was still in the ante-room below, while there was a buzz of conversation and laughter from the banquet table, the members and guests having just seated themselves. Suddenly a terrific explosion was heard, when perfect quiet followed. The secretary imagined from the explosion and crash and [illegible] of all noise that the entire company had been killed, and immediately fainted.

The trouble was caused by and accumulation of gas in one of the ovens of a gas stove Mrs. Cosby, who was in charge of the kitchen, did not know that the burners had been turned on, and when she applied a match the door blew out with a rush of flame and a loud [illegible] which shook the tables. Mrs. Cosby narrowly escaped being burned, or having her clothing catch fire. The secretary was revived and was able later to join the party when the interrupted festivities were resumed.

Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA 16 Dec 1904