Cleveland, OH Fireworks Factory Explosion, May 1903

THREE ARE KILLED AS EXPLOSION IN A FIREWORKS FACTORY AT CLEVELAND, O., SCATTERS DESTRUCTION.

THREE DEAD, TWO FATALLY INJURED AND 28 OTHERS SLIGHTLY HURT.

Cleveland, May 2. -- An explosion that caused death and destruction occurred in the plant of the Thor Manufacturing Company this afternoon. Thus far three people are dead, 28 others are at the hospitals, two fatally and others more or less seriously injured.

Horrible Destruction.
The company is a manufacturer of toy torpedo canes and other explosives and was amidst its busy season.
The force of the explosion was tremendous and windows within a radiius of a quarter of a mile were broken.
In the house next to the factory lived MAURICE COHEN, his wife and eight children. With the collapse of the house crushed: all were taken out unconscioius. MRS. COHEN died on the way to the hospital, and her 12-year-old son, MAURICE, died later.
In the house directly in the rear were MRS. BARNEY QUASS and two boys. All three were badly injured.

How It Occurred.
During the lunch hour the shoe of one of the girls struck a spark in the fulminating powder on the floor. Instantly the floor was ablaze. The water thrown upon it had no effect. The girls did not seem to realize the danger and continued in their efforts to extinguish the fire, until a man outside warned them to run for their lives. Ten girls, four boys, and one man were in the factory at the time. All but three escaped -- FLORENCE LIPSTER, WILBUR COLE and a 14-year-old boy.

The Search.
After the firemen had subdued the flames they began to search the ruins for victims. COLE was dug from under a mass of debris, and FLORENCE LIPSTER was found soon after, and the boy, ARTHUR CONWAY, was taken out later. None were seriously injured. Many occupants of neighboring houses were injured. HARRY GLUECKMANN, lying ill with typhoid fever in his home, was so severely shocked by the explosion that he died in a few minutes. MAY MAYERS, aged 15, suffering with scarlet fever, was rendered blind by glass thrown upon her as she was lying in bed near the window of her home. Pedestrians on the street were thrown down by the detonation, many sustaining slight injuries. The two fatally injured are BEN ESCHEN, aged 13 and MRS. ANNA STONE.

Dubuque Telegraph Herald Iowa 1903-05-03