Fredonia, NY Traction Company Explosion, Dec 1910


In upper Center Street, Fredonia, where the Acme Market and the parking lot are not located, stood the B. & L. E. Traction Company car barns and the powerhouse. During the early evening of December 15, 1910 occurred the explosion there of a boiler in the J. A. Bendure steam heating plant. The building had been erected in the Fall by J. A. Bendure of Buffalo who purchased the equipment from the Traction company.

Of the three boilers in operation at the time of the accident, the middle one exploded. The boiler nearest the street was blown way across Center Street. The boiler which exploded was torn apart and was forced through a double brick wall in the car barns of the B. & L. E. Traction Company, leaving a hole 20 feet in circumference as it passed through another wall.

The night foreman of the plant, Fred Burrell, who had come to Fredonia but a few weeks before, was killed instantly. William Bishop, who had been conversing with Mr. Burrell shortly before the accident, was discovered buried beneath the debris. He was found in a serious condition and was transported to the hospital. Many houses in the neighborhood suffered considerable damage.

Fredonia, New York, sesquicentennial : souvenir historical book, 1829-1979