Chicago, IL Chemical Company Explosion, Mar 1927

CHICAGO FIREMEN IN DEATH TRAP, EXPLOSION IN A CHEMICAL PLANT.

Chicago, March 11 -- (AP) -- The ranks of engine companies numbers three and six were depleted late today when an explosion killed one fireman and seriously injured ten other, two probably fatally.
They had controlled a fire in the plant of the Daigger Chemical Company, just outside the downtown district, when a terrific explosion occurred and was followed by several of lesser degree.
The fireman killed was EDWARD HIRSCHHORN. THOMAS BENDER was so seriously burned that hope of recovery was abandoned. PATRICK KELLY inhaled flames and was burned about the hands, face and body.
All the other injured firemen suffered serious body burns when their clothing caught fire.
The firemen killed and injured were trapped in the basement. Fumes filled the air and the men, bruised shocked and burned, were brought out only after comrades had donned gas masks.
Five firemen collapsed at a street door they sought to escape from the gas-filled basement and were dragged to safety by bystanders.
Max Woldenberg, president and several other officials of the chemical company, were taken to the police station for questioning. Twenty-five employes of the chemical company fled the building just before the explosion occurred.
More than 200 workers in nearby buildings fled to the street when they were rocked by the explosion.
Carbide of sufficient quantity to damage the buildings in the entire block was found in the basement of the two-story brick plant, Samuel Kugelman, battalion chief said, explaining that the chemical explodes upon contact with fire or water.
M. J. Corrigan, another battalion chief, in charge of an investigation, said the chemical company had been under surveillance for some time in connection with reports that chemicals were stored in the basement.

Independent Helena Montana 1927-03-12