Carlin, IL Coal Mine Fire, Jan 1899

Caught In A Burning Mine.

A Hundred Men Have a Narrow Escape From Death In Carlinville, Ill.

Carlinville, Ill., Jan 2.-The shaft of the Carlinville Coal Company caught fire to-day by a can of lubricating oil being heated on a stove in the top of the tipple. A strong southwest wind fanned the flames, which extended over an acre of ground. The fire company was powerless, was there was no water in the mains.

The burning timbers and fired coal tumbled down in the shaft, where one hundred men were imprisoned. The airshaft engine, being seldom used, refused to work. A panic ensued below, where the air had extinguished the flames on the lamps, leaving the men in total darkness. They were scattered over a radius of three miles. Suffocation was narrowly averted. A scene indescribable took place on top among the women, mothers, daughters, and sweethearts of the victims. The men were finally released from the mine unharmed. The loss will aggregate $10,000; $5,000 insurance.

Owing to recent trouble between employees and employers the mines may not be rebuilt. Only a small supply of coal is on hand in the city. One hundred families are almost destitute as a result of the fire.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 Jan 1899