Chicago, IL Fireworks Explosion, Mar 1921
CHICAGO FIREWORKS EXPLOSION KILLS 8 AND INJURES 75.
WRECKS STORES AND DWELLINGS IN THE HEART OF TENEMENT SECTION.
DUE TO ILLEGAL STORAGE.
AUTHORITIES SAY TWO TONS OF EXPLOSIVES WERE IN WAREHOUSE IN VIOLATION OF LAW.
THREE ARRESTS ARE MADE.
BUT SINGER AND SCHAFFER, HEADS OF THE FIREWORKS FIRE, CANNOT BE LOCATED.
Special to The New York Times.
Chicago, March 29. -- In an explosion of about two tons of gunpowder and fireworks today six men and two women were killed and possibly seventy-five persons were injured more or less seriously, while a block of business houses at South Halstead and Barber Streets was ladi in ruins. Of the eight bodies recovered six were identified. The police believe that two others are buried in the debris. Official inquiry into the disaster elicited these facts:
Between two and three tons of explosives were stored in a warehouse in the rear of 1,427 and 1,429 South Halsted Street. The warehouse was under lease to the W. SINGER & N. SCHAFFER Company, dealers in fireworks. The storing of explosives within the city limits is a violation of law. The explosion occurred within this warehouse.
As the result of the inquiry EDWARD SCHAFFER, son of NATHAN SCHAFFER, partner in the SINGER-SCHAGGER concern; his brother ISADORE, and MAX SINGER, city salesman for the concern, are being held by the police. SINGER is a nephew of WILLIAM SINGER, a partner in the firm.
In addition, the police are searching for WILLIAM SINGER and NATHAN SCHAFFER, the two partners. SINGER and SCHAFFER disappeared soon after the explosion.
On May 29, John C. McDonald, Chief of the Fire Prevention Bureau, received a report, that a carload of fireworks had been delivered to the firm. An order was immediately issured to get the explosives out of the city limits. In compliance this carload was removed to Stickney, Ill., on March 10. The records of the company found at the scene of the explosion showed twenty-five gross of "rolled caps" and three cases of "special fireworks" were purchased from the Kilgore Manufacturing Company of Westville, Ohio, and on March 18, 7,550 pounds of torpedoes were received from a Philadelphia concern.
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