Centralia, WA Boiler Explosion, Jan 1930

EXPLOSION OF BOILER PROVES FATAL -- GUS DENT IS VICTIM.

YOUNG GUARD OFFICER AND FORMER HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE KILLED BY BLAST.

GUS DENT, well known young Centralian, was killed this morning when a boiler exploded at the plant of the Pantorium Dye Works, where he was employed.
In addition to the fatality, the blast wrecked the rear of the building, resulting in a considerable monetary loss.
Young DENT was alone in the rear of the plant when the explosion occurred. His death was instantaneous, his skull being crushed and body badly scalded and lacerated. It was partially buried by debris when found.
Frozen pipes in the boiler are believed to have caused the explosion. An inquest has been ordered by W. H. Grimm, Lewis county prosecutor, for 10 a.m. tomorrow to determine the cause and fix the responsibility, if any.
One theory advanced for the explosion is that the water in the boiler was low; that the pipe supplying the boiler with water was frozen, and that when the heat thawed out the pipe the rush of cold water on the hot crown plate resulted in the blast.
The fire had been burning in the boiler about an hour when the explosion occurred. It is said, MR. DENT had just entered the rear of the building to thaw out some pipes when the boiler let go.
The explosion, heard several blocks away, was followed by a fire alarm, but no fire followed the blast.
J. M. STONE, whose electrical works adjoins the dye plant, was in back of the building when the blast occurred, and just missed being struck by flying bricks and other debris.
The victim of the accident was 36 years of age. He was a first lieutenant in the 41st Tank Company, Centralia's national guard unit, and was prominent in athletics at the Centralia high school before his graduation. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his mother, Mrs. Ada Dent, and four brothers, Lyle, Clyde, Richard and Harold Dent, all living here with the exception of Harold, who is in Renton, Wash.
The body is at the Newell mortuary.

Centralia Daily Chronicle Washington 1930-01-20