Nevada, IA Motel Explosion, Oct 1952


Nevada, Ia. (AP) -- A mother and 5-year-old daughter were killed and three persons were injured when an explosion and fire levelled half of the Siesta Motel here Thursday evening.
The dead were identified as MRS. EVELYN KAROLEWICZ, 42, and her daughter, MARY ELLEN. Both bodies were burned beyond recognition. Her 38-year-old husband, EDWARD, was reported in fair condition at Story County Hospital Friday.
Deputy Sheriff John Stark said the dead were identified from American passports and other charred papers found in the family automobile. The KAROLEWICZS originally came from Lesterville, S. D., according to the passports Stark said.
Also reported in fair condition at the hospital Friday were MRS. CECIL FLACK, 35, wife of the motel owner, who was pulled from under a collapsed wall by her husband, and her son by a previous marriage, TED McMURRAY, 11, was treated for shock and released.
Stark, Coroner R. H. Mordaunt and a deputy from the state fire marshal's office continued their investigation of the tragedy Friday. Stark said origin and cause of the explosion has not been determined. He theorized a gas heater in one of the units blew up.
Half of the motel's 20 units either were flattened by the force of the explosion or were burned to the ground by the subsequent fire.

Carroll Daily Times Herald Iowa 1952-10-03