Marion, IN Hotel Explosion, Jan 1904

NATURAL GAS MAKES FATAL FIRE

Marion Hotel and Three Lives Destroyed.

LEAK FROM A PIPE

Filled Rooms and Lighted Jets Cause Explosion.

Marion, Ind., Jan. 21.-- Fire resulting from an explosion of natural gas early today destroyed the Seitz Hotel, located near the national military home in the outskirts of the city.

Proprietor CHARLES BEITEL and MRS. CHARLES BEITEL, his wife, and JAMES DEVLIN, owner of a cafe, were burned to death. EDWARD CASTAL, 11 years old and L. H. HOBIS, an oil well contractor, were fatally injured, and ten other guests and employes more or less hurt.

There were thirty people asleep on the second floor at the time of the explosion and rescuers had much difficulty in taking the injured from the wreck.

The gas could not be shut off and fed the fire which gained great headway. Natural gas is said to have escaped from a pipe line that passed near the building, the basement being filled, and when the rooms began to fill with gas it was ignited by burning jets.

The bodies of MR. and MRS. BEITEL were seen through the flames and wreckage an hour before they could be recovered.

The Daily Review Decatur, Illinois 1904-01-21

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HOTEL BLOWN UP BY GAS.

Three Killed, Two Fatally and Ten Seriously Injured.

In an explosion which wrecked the Seitz Hotel at Marion, Ind., three people were killed, two fatally hurt and 10 seriously injured.

The seriously injured were all guests of the hotel. The explosion is attributed to natural gas, which escaped into the basement from a pipe line running near the hotel.

The building was a two-story brick, the hotel occupying the second floor. The outer walls were blown out, the second floor falling on the first with the roof on it. The guests were under the wreck, which at once ignited. They were asleep in their rooms when the explosion occurred. The property loss is $25,000.

The Indiana Democrat Pennsylvania 1904-01-27