Auburn, NY Service Station Explosion, Mar 1960

THREE FIREMEN AMONG VICTIMS OF EXPLOSION.

Auburn, N.Y. (AP) -- An explosion blew apart a gasoline service station in downtown Auburn Wednesday night and killed three firemen, the station operator and an oil company employe.
Two women, residents of an apartment building next door, were injured and taken to a hospital in this central New York city.
The dead were inside the 30X40-foot, cinderblock building when it disintegrated. Only a large pit filled with debris was visible.
The firemen had benn summoned to the station because a gasoline odor had been noticeable.
Firemen said employes of the station had been using gasoline to wash a grease rack.
The blast shattered windows in a four-block area. Every window in the First Universalist church, across the street, and in the three-story apartment building, was broken. Occupants of the apartments were evacuated.
Cinderblocks were tossed 50 to 100 feet into the street.
The dead firemen were LT. ALFRED MURPHY, JOHN SEARING and ANTHONY CONTRERA.
The other dead were WALTER OCKENFELS, who operated the station for the R. J. Connor Oil Co., and JOHN BELL, a Connor employe.
The bodies were recovered.
The injured women were IDA YEAPIC and MABEL BILLS.

The Oneonta Star New York 1960-03-31