Avon, CT Fuse Co. Explosion, Sept 1905
EXPLOSION OF FUSE CAUSES DEATH OF SEVEN AND INJURY TO MANY OTHERS IN BUILDING
MAD PANIC OF WORKERS
MANY PUSHED BACK INTO THE FLAMES BY FRANTIC COMRADES ESCAPING.
SOME OVERCOME BY SMOKE
ARE SEEN BY RELATIVES BURNING IN FIRE WHICH CONSUMES THE BUILDING.
Town Without Fire Protection and Citizens Powerless to Do Anything with the Flames--Heartrending Scene at the Fire Following the Explosion--Names of Victims.
Avon, Conn., Sept. 13.--An explosion of a fuse followed by fire in the building of the Climax Fuse company here this afternoon caused a panic among the twenty employes[sic] in the building and resulted in the death of seven and injury that doubtless will prove fatal to several others. There was no way of coping with the flames which soon spread rapidly and in less than an hour after the explosion occurred those who were unable to escape were in the clutches of the fire that eventually burned their bodies to ashes. As the day wore on the great crowd that collected in the hamlet saw the bodies of men and women roasting in the fire and were powerless to check the flames. The dead:
WILLIAM BURKE, 40 years old, married
ROBERT M'CARTHY, 18
JAMES WALLACE, married
MISS J. SULLIVAN
MRS. M. H. TUCKER
Cause Is Unknown.
The exact cause of the accident which caused the loss of seven lives may never be known, but it is the accepted theory here that in the effort to burn out the stoppage in one of the machines a workman caused an explosion with the hot iron he held in his hands. Those who were in the room where the explosion was not severe and ordinarily would not have caused a panic. Inflammable material, however, was set on fire and in a few minutes the room was a mass of flames. In an instant there was a mad rush for doors and windows and during the scramble many were pushed back into the building while others were severely burned.
There was only sixty hands at work in the entire plant. It was stated tonight that some of the dead may have been overcome by smoke before they had a chance to flee and that it is improbable that any one of the seven victims lost his life by the force of the explosion.