Brooklyn, NY Tank Explosion, May 1885



A large tank full of boiling lard in the chopping department of the pork packing establishment of KARSCHER & SAUL, at Graham avenue and Boerum street, Brooklyn, Easten District, exploded at 8:30 o'clock last night, and entirely demolished that part of the building which fronts on Boerum street. Fortunately, there were only four persons at work in that part of the building at the time, while many were at work in the store which fronts on Graham avenue. One of the four, WILLIAM H. WEISERT, a driver, was killed outright, and JOHN KRAMER, of No. 186 Johnson avenue; HENRY SCALPZ, of No. 600 Flushing avenue, and IRA CARL, of No. 132 Graham avenue, were injured.
One of the, SCALPZ, is dangerously wounded. The windows and doors in the building and in those adjoining were shattered by the explosion. Immediately after the explosion, which no one has yet been able to account for, the building caught fire, but the prompt arrival of the firemen and their vigorous work soon got it under control. There was great excitement in the neighborhood, and the most alarming reorts of loss of life spread with remarkable rapidity, except to police headquarters, where the first notice of any damage having been done was received a little before 11 o'clock. Several children, who were in Boerum street at the time of the explosion, were slightly cut by falling glass.
The damage to the building, which is owned by LOUIS KARSCHER, is about $8,000, and to the stock $5,000, partly covered by insurance. It is said that the building was inspected by the Building Department three weeks ago and condemned as unsafe.

The New York Times New York 1885-05-24