Boothwyn, PA Home Gas Explosion, Jan 1954
HOME WRECKED AS FLAMES FOLLOW BLAST.
BOOTHWYN HOUSE RUINED, FIREMEN BLAME GAS LEAK.
Fire destroyed a second floor apartment at 1615 McKay Av., Boothwyn, yesterday.
Firemen said the blaze was caused by the explosion of heating gas that had leaked into the upper apartment, unoccupied when the blast occurred about 6 p.m.
In the ground floor apartment, ELWOOD J. SAMPSON, his wife, ELIZABETH, and their twin sons, EDWARD and ELWOOD, 10, fled from their home when the gas exploded.
One of the boys ran to nearby Reliance Fire Co. to give the alarm, but by the time firemen arrived, the entire second floor and attic were ablaze.
Unaware that the occupants of the second floor apartment were not at home, firemen attempted to gain entrance through windows, but heat, smoke and flames forced them to abandon the attempt.
Occupants of the upper apartment were WILLIAM CLORE, who is working in West Virginia; his wife and their daughter, LINDA, 5. The wife and daughter were visiting MRS. CLORE'S mother in Chester at the time of the explosion and fire.
In addition to Reliance, Boothwyn, Ogden, Linwood and Friendship fire companies fought the gas-fed blaze. The fire was brought under control in about an hour, with firemen remaining at the scene about three hours.
The interior of the second-floor apartment was burned out, as was the interior of the attic. All second floor windows were broken by heat and a portion of the roof destroyed. Damage to the SAMPSON apartment was caused by smoke and water, although the staircase leading from the first to second floor was burned away.
SAMPSON, who took his family to stay with his sister and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Lott, Meetinghouse Road, Boothwyn said he was buying the apartment house under the GI Bill and that the building was insured.
Chester Times Pennsylvania 1954-01-02