Centennial, WY Utopia Gold Mine Fire, Jan 1931

PORTAL BLAZE TRAPS MINERS

CENTENNIAL, Wyo., Jan. 17.--(AP)--Three men trapped four hours in the Utopia gold mine near here by a fire at the portal were rescued alive shortly after one o'clock today.

Those trapped were Bernard Holtum, owner of the mine, and two brothers named Crites who were working with Holtum in the 1200 foot shaft of the tunnel when the fire started.

The explosion was believed to have been caused by a premature or accidental explosion of powder. Fire caught the timbering at the mouth of the shaft and cut off escape of the three men who were working inside in the 1200 foot tunnel.

Caveins occurred when the fire destroyed the timbering. Miners working in mines in the vicinity were summoned to aid in rescue work.

Many of them were equipped with gas masks and an attempt to penetrate the tunnel as soon as possible was to be made. The debris and rock had to be cleared away first.

The fate of the three men could not be determined because fire drove the rescuers back from the portal.

Physicians with respirators were waiting at the tunnel to aid the men as soon as they could be reached.

The Utopia is a gold and platinum mine.

Reno Evening Gazette, Reno, NV 17 Jan 1931