Dallas, TX Hassell School Explosion & Fire, Jan 1935

Hassell School is Damaged by Gas Explosion

Wall Cracked and Steps of Stairway Blown Out by Force of After Students Depart

Custodian Injured

Fire Jumps From Basement as High as First Floor of Building

L. L. Putman, 58, custodian, was severely blistered on his face and head shortly before 5 p.m. Friday by fire which burned briefly after an explosion of gas severely damaged the T. C. Hassell School building, Second and Pennsylvania.  He was taken to Baylor Hospital for treatment.

The center of the explosion apparently was in the basement, where one wall was cracked and several steps were blown out of a stairway.  Tongues of flame shot from the basement to the first floor, several windows being broken on the first floor, as well as the basement.  The blaze was quickly extinguished by firemen.

All students were absent from the building at the time, only Putman and T. C. Wilson, 1804 Fourth, his assistant, being present.  Wilson, who was on the third floor, said he felt the concussion but saw no flame.

The nature of the gas accumulation was undetermined Friday night and a triple investigation was begun -- by representatives of the Dallas Gas Company, the Board of Education and the fire department.

Putman was making a last check of the building, preparatory to leaving for the day, when the explosion occurred. He had just closed a window in a restroom, the door of which was blown closed by the force of the blast.  Fire from the wall burned him on the head and face before he could reopen the door and run to safety.

Dallas Morning New, Dallas, TX 19 Jan 1935