North Adams, MA Theatre Fire and Panic, Jun 1907

PANIC IN THEATER AUDIENCE

EXPLOSION AT NORTH ADAMS.

Many Rush for the Doors at Empire Theater When Picture Machine Takes Fire--One Woman Trampled on and Others Hysterical--Fire Quickly Put Out.

The moving picture machine in the balcony of the Empire theater at North Adams exploded shortly after 9 o'clock last night, while an audience of some 400 was witnessing the moving picture entertainment then in progress. There was considerable confusion, several women screaming and others making hasty rushes for the exits. Charles Daas, a fireman, who happened to be in the theater, attempted to quiet the audience, but was only partly successful. He then left and had an alarm sounded from box 6, at the corner of Main and Holden streets. By the time the fire apparatus reached the building the greater part fo the audience was leaving by the main entrance in an orderly manner, although several women were more or less hysterical. George Roberts, electrician of the Empire theater, who was in charge of the machine, had extinguished the fire with hand chemicals by the time the first fireman reached the balcony. The damage was entirely confined to the picture machine apparatus.

During the first rush in the theater, a Mrs. Frazier of Briggsville was knocked down and trampled upon, receiving quite severe injuries to her chest. A little girl who was with her became separated from her, but a man picked the child up and brought her out. Mrs. Frazier, with four other women who had fainted, were carried into the Wilson House drug store, where they were revived, Dr. N. M. Crofts being called to attend Mrs. Frazier.

Springfield Republican, Springfield, MA 23 Jun 1907