Oskaloosa, IA College Fire, May 1916

Oskaloosa IA Penn College Fire.jpg

TWO DIE IN COLLEGE FIRE.

GIVE UP LIVES TRYING TO SAVE IOWA RECORDS.

Oskaloosa, Iowa, May 27. -- Two men were killed, two probably fatally injured, and property was damaged to the extent of between $80,000 and $100,000 by a fire which started early today at Penn College, here. ROBERT H. WILLIAMS, business manager of the college and State Secretary of the Prohibition Party, and HARRY OAKLEY, a freshman, were killed. GEORGE MINEAR and HOWARD KELLEY, students, are in the hospital and may die.
The fire started in the biological laboratory on the second floor of the building, and reached a tank of alcohol, which exploded, scattering the blaze in all directions.
WILLIAMS and OAKLEY were killed while attempting to save the college records. The fire reached the cupola, and the four-ton college bell crashed down through the building, wrecking the front wall and burying the victims under tons of debris.
MINEAR and KELLEY are believed to have suffered internal injuries. They were hurt while rescuing the S.A.M. BYERS art collection in the chapel hall. The collection is said to be worth $50,000.
Defective electric wiring is believed to have been the cause of the fire.

New York Times New York 1916-05-28