Elmira, NY Hardware Store Explosion, Jun 1890
FIRE CAUSED BY AN EXPLOSION.
THE LOSS WILL PROBABLY REACH TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.
ELMIRA, N. Y., June 30.---Lewis Neilson, an employe[sic] in the hardware store of Barker, Rose & Gray, at the corner of Water and Lake Streets, was sent into the cellar to draw some japan drier this morning, and in moving a barrel of the oil a head was knocked off, the oil poured our upon the floor, was quickly ignited, and an explosion ensued.
Neilson was badly burned about the face and arms, but not fatally. The flames spread with great rapidity, and ascended the elevator shaft and staircases, bursting forth through the windows into the street.
Within five minutes after the explosion a general alarm was sounded, and soon all the engines in the city were pouring streams into the burning building. The fire, however, continued to spread, and aid was asked from the surrounding towns. Two engines were sent from Horseheads and one from the reformatory and rendered good assistance to the city department. By 2 o'clock the flames were under control and were confined to the building in which they originated.
There were about one hundred employes[sic] in the building, and many of them had narrow escapes.
The loss on the building is $35,000, insured for $20,000, and the loss on the hardware stock in $185,000, insured for $100,000. There were many law offices and Justices' courts in the building, and it is believed that their losses will swell the total to nearly $200,000.
The New York Times, New York, NY 1 Jul 1890