Wellsville, NY Oil Refinery Fire, Jul 1938

Exploding Tanks Hamper Firemen

WELLSVILLE, N.Y. – July 18 – (AP) – Frequent rumbling explosions threatened new hours of terror tonight at the flame-swept $15,000,000 Sinclair Oil Refinery where three persons were killed and 75 injured last night.

Anxious firemen, weary but still determined to quench the inferno, worked near hot, bulging tanks with little heed for their own safety.

Now and then the plates in a tank would begin to shift ad swell perceptibly. An alarm would go out. Firemen would run pell mell to safer quarters. Sometimes the tanks held. Several times they blew up with terrific force. About 16 tanks had exploded by a late hour today.

The Arizona Republican, Phoenix, Arizona, Tuesday Morning, July 19, 1938, No. 62