Brooklyn, NY Lumber Mill Boiler Explosion, Oct 1883



A boiler exploded in the Loomis lumber mills, in Nevins-street, between Baltic and Butler streets, Brooklyn, at 2:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon. One man was killed, and damages to the amount of $3,000 were caused. The boiler was an upright one, of about 20-horse power. It was placed at the Butler-street end of the building. A number of pipes were connected with it, and were used in drying lumber. The engineer, named Smith, went off yesterday afternoon and left Nicholas Lisk, the watchman, in charge. The latter's knowledge of engineering appears to have been limited. It is supposed that he found the water in the boiler quite low and that he turned on cold water.

Lisk was mangled in a frightful manner by the explosion and thrown a distance of about 25 feet. Two large pieces of the boiler shot up through the roof of the mill, which is but one story high. One, which weighed about 400 pounds, was thrown a distance of a block, and went through the wall of No. 231 Butler-street, which is occupied by Thomas Stephens as a tool shop. The damage to this building is estimated at $100. The other piece went into the lumber yard of Ross & Son, on the other side of Nevins-street. One of the pieces struck a telegraph pole at Nevins and Butler streets, and knocked it down. Several of the wires were broken. The sound of the explosion alarmed the entire neighborhood, and a large crowd hurried to the scene. The mangled body of Lisk was removed to his residence, No. 430 Warren-street. He was 35 years of age and leaves a wife and two children. He was one of the persons who escaped from the Brooklyn Theatre fire. The boiler is said to have been sound. it was insured in the Fidelity Casualty Insurance Company.

The New York Times, New York, NY 22 Oct 1883