Lynn, MA Preble Company Explosion, Nov 1928

14 KILLED IN SHOE FACTORY EXPLOSION.

FLAMES SPREAD TO HOME; FOUR BURN TO DEATH.

TWELVE BODIES RECOVERED IN DEBRIS OF WRECKED SHOE FACTORY.

8 INJURED IN HOSPITALS.

TWO VICTIMS HURLED TO STREET BY DETONATION; CAUSE OF TRAGEDY UNKNOWN.

Lynn, Mass., Nov. 8 -- (AP) -- Fourteen persons were known to be dead from an explosion which wrecked the plant of the Preble Box Toe Co. and a nearby dwelling house in East Lynn today.
Nine persons were in a serious condition in the Lynn hospital and several others were believed to be missing. Firemen were searching the rules of the demolished plant for more bodies.
The known dead are:
MRS. LILLIAN BLANEY, who resided in a dwelling house next to the plant and her Four Children.
ALFRED P. HARRIS, of Lynn.
JOHN CROWDER, of Lynn.
LEWIS E. PUFFER, of Swampscott.
CHARLES MITCHELL.
JOHN WILSON, a negro.
WILLIAM CLEMENTS, a negro.
PERCY H. SMITH, of Lynn.
Two Unidentified Men.

Factory Wrecked.
The plant was wrecked by a series of blasts which occurred shortly before 7:30 a.m., just as the factory was about to start operations for the day.
The first explosion was in the rear of the plant where materials used in the manufacture of box toes for shoes were stored.
Then there followed a number of smaller blasts which blew out the rear wall of the plant and sent huge flames across a narrow street on which there are several dwelling houses. In one of these houses lived the BLANEY family.
The roof of the factory collapsed in the rear and several employees were thought to have been buried beneath it. The plant was built of concrete blocks which were sent flying in all directions by the explosion. The interior of the factory was a complete wreck. The plant was a small building, one story high. About 25 men were employed.
Of the twelve bodies which had been recovered up to 9 a.m. four were those of occupants of a dwelling close to the factory -- a mother and three of her 8 children. The others were believed to be those of factory employes, which had not been identified.

Four Smothered.
The woman killed was MRS. HARRY BLANEY. She and her husband with all their children were at the breakfast table when the explosion came. Instantly a sheet of flame leaped from the factory 20 feet to their home, bursting thru a window and enveloping the family. MRS. BLANEY and three of ther children were burned and smothered to death. The others in the family escaped with comparatively minor injuries.

The Lima News Ohio 1928-11-08