San Francisco, CA Roof Collapse at Football Game, Dec 1900


Scores Killed and Injured by the Collapse of a Roof.


Disaster Occurred at a Football Game in San Francisco - Victims Were Hurled on a Red Hot Furnace - Bodies Drawn From the Retorts With Pokers - The Dead and Injured.

San Francisco (Special). -- By the collapse of the roof of the Pacific Glass Works while it was crowded with men and boys who were watching a football game between the Stanford and University of California teams, fifteen persons were killed. More than 100 persons fell into the furnace of the factory upon ovens and retorts containing molten glass when the roof collapsed. The injured number eighty-three, and of these several cannot survive.

The dead are:
EDGAR FAIRHAVEN, eleven years old.
W. H. ECKFELDT, twelve years old.
WILLIAM VANELCIA, eighteen years old.
THOMAS J. RIPPON, twenty-four years old.
JAMES A. MULRONEY, forty years old.
MARQUIS VAN DURN, forty-five years old.
VIRGIL NEUBY, fifteen years old.
CHARLES MONSHAN, thirty-four years old.
TALLEYRAND BARNWELL, sixteen years old.
LUNON GIRARD, sixteen years old.
ROBERT MILLER, seventeen years old.
HECTOR McNEIL, fifteen years old.
MOSES OTTENSTEIN, fifteen years old.
WILL RITHSTEIN, twelve years old, and

The fires in the furnaces had been started for the first time, and the vats were full of liquid glass. It was upon these that the victims fell. Some were killed instantly and others were slowly roasted to death. The few who missed the furnaces rolled off, and together with workmen in the glass works saved the lives of many by pulling them away from their horrible resting place.
CHARLES YOST, oven-man of the glass works, was raking the fire when the crash came, and narrowly escaped being struck by the falling debris. He says that those killed either struck the heavy bands that surrounded the glass ovens or were crushed by those who fell on top of them.

CLARENCE JETER, a furnace tender, pulled eight persons off the top of the retorts, where the heat was about 500 degrees. Some of the men and boys were terribly burned. They were drawn away from the retorts with long iron pokers used in testing the glass.

While aiding in removing the dead and wounded, T. J. PARKER, a fireman, found his own son among the injured.
The manager of the glass works realized the danger before the accident occurred, and had sent for the police to compel the crowd to leave. Just as a squad of officers arrived from the City Hall the roof went down.

It is estimated that more than 300 persons were on the ventilator when it collapsed for its entire length of 100 feet. Some were thrown to the main roof of the building and escaped unhurt, but of those who fell into the structure almost all were either killed or seriously maimed.

The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1900-12-07


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