Roby, IN Starch Factory Fire, Mar 1910

EXPLOSION MAIMS MANY.

TWO THOUGHT DEAD AT ROBY.

EMPLOYES RUN, FOLLOWING FIRE IN STARCH FACTORY, AND THE COMPANY IS UNABLE TO CHECK UP THEIR NAMES.

Hammond, Ind., March 7. -- (Special) -- Two men are thought to be dead and twenty-one injured in an explosion tonight in the plant of the American Maize Products Company at Roby. The loss is estimated at $25,000, which is covered by insurance.
The dry starchroom and the dry starch warehouse are wrecks, fire having originally broken out in the first bruilding. Thirty men are employed in these two buildings, but only twenty-one have been accounted for. A number of employes frightened by the catastrophe ran away before checking in, and the management tonight is at a loss to know who they are or how many escaped. It is thought that seven of eight sought safety in this manner, leaving one or two unaccounted for.
In the dry starch room are thirty-three kilns, each about six feet high and eighty feet in length. In these kilns car loads of cornstarch are dried at a time and it is thought that one of these kilns became overheated. The end doors were forced open by the heat and as soon as the flames came in contact with the dry particles of dust and starch, with which the air in this room was filled, the explosion occurred.
The fire spread throughout the one-story structure and found its way through the aerial passageway into the starch warehouse, which is a three-story building. Here the same results were produced and within a few seconds the two places were a mass of falling walls of brick.
For a time all escape seemed impossible, the men being fenced in on all sides. When the first shock of the explosion was over the men became panic stricken, none of them stopping to give his name or number to the time keeper. Twenty-one were started to St. Margaret's Hospital, ambulances and hacks having been summoned to the scene. Only thirteen of the injured reported at the hospital and it is thought that the others went to their homes.
Those who were taken to the hospital were seriously injured, all being burned and some suffering from having inhaled smoke and fire.
JOHN DEMEZRY, of Whiting, is seriously injured.
TONY WINSKI, of Hammond, is seriously injured.
Also injured are:
CHARLES ANDERSON, foreman, Chicago.
JOHN AKSIEZ, Chicago.
J. WACKOK, South Chicago.
VASYL DAWLCIK, Whiting.
FELIX BRINKLIS, East Chicago.
FRAND HAWKINS, Whiting.
PETER DUBICZ, Hammond.
MIKE KOCTEZ, Whiting.
JOHN DELORE, South Chicago.
ADAM BARTKEWICZ, South Chicago.
The American Maize Products Company has a plant that was built at a cost of $1,000,000. The plant has been in operation for three years and employs forty men, working night and day shifts. This is the second explosion the plant has experienced, the first one having occurred about a year and a half ago.

Indianapolis Star Indiana 1910-03-07