St. Louis, MO Explosion And Fire, Jan 1896

The firemen returned to the exploration of the wreckage and cleared away a great portion of it without finding the body. Flames again broke out afresh and it was decided to abandon the search until the wreckage was soaked with water. The hook and ladder was then transferred to the rear of the Excelsior Iron Works, where 15 were at work. How many escaped was not known at the time.

The firemen soon cleared away the debris and with 30 minutes work, two bodies were brought to light, lying side by side. They were horribly mangled and burned and were hurried to the morgue, where they were identified as JOSEPH CHEMLIR and PAUL HAUPTNER.

The firemen kept at their work, clearing away the debris and searched every foot of the ground for the bodies of the other missing men. They were unable to find any more, however. The missing, it is thought, may still be in the ruins, or may have escaped and neglected to report their safety.

For three hours the city dispensary physicians were kept busy attending to the injured victims as they were brought in by the ambulances. When he heard of the explosion, Dr. Jordan, superintendent, ordered six ambulances to the scene, and for a time they were kept busy.

The building, 309 North Second Street, in which the explosion occurred, is a complete wreck. The rear half was blown to atoms and the whole front of the 4-story building was blown out. The rear of the Excelsior Iron and Wire works and the rear of the Levison & Blythe Manufacturing company were entirely demolished. Fire completed the work of destruction by licking up all the light woodwork. Across the alley the rear windows were blown out and bricks, mortar and flying timbers were hurled into the building, creating havoc and wounding many of the employes.

Little & Becker's Printing company of 314 North Third Street were probably the heaviest sufferers on that thoroughfare. Their premises are situated in the rear, directly across the alley from the building in which the explosion occurred. A hail of bricks and debris pied their type, wrecked their presses and broke every pane of glass of their building. Their loss will be about $2,500.

The Frey Stationery company at 308 North Third Street, the Western Engraving company and type foundry at 217 Olive Street and the Dailing Printing company at 210 and 212 Olive Street each suffered to the extent of $4,000 and many others small amounts. This damage was caused by the explosion which shattered everything within its reach.

The heaviest losers were the Archer Peanut company at 309 North Second Street, in whose building the fireworks were stored. Their loss is placed at $42,000, bully covered by insurance. The fireworks belonged to H. B. Grubb, agent for Ditwiller & Street of Greenfield, N.J. The building which is a total loss, was valued at $20,000; insured.

The Levison & Blythe Manufacturing company, manufacturers of inks, mucilage, etc., at 307 North Second Street, will lost $15,000; $7,500 insurance. This building was valued at $10,000. It was a total loss and was insured.

The Excelsior iron and wire works loses $15,000; insured for $14,000. Building damages, $5,000; insured.

Evening Bulletin Maysville Kentucky 1896-01-03