Chapel Hill, NC Struck by Flaming Can of Gasoline, Jan 1907


Mr. J. M. Neville, of Chapel Hill, is Struck by Can Which Had Been Thrown Out of Building – Seriously Burned.

Special to The Observer.
Chapel Hill, Jan. 28. – Mr. J. M. Neville, who runs the University Athletic Store at the “Hill” and is very popular among the students, was seriously burned about noon Saturday by the ignition of a can of gasoline. A clerk was filling a cigar-lighter from a can which he supposed to contain kerosene, but which contained gasoline instead, when the flame in the cigar-lighter flared up, igniting the gasoline. The clerk dropped the can, but a student snatched it up and attempted to throw it out the front door, in which stood a crowd of students. Mr. Neville was entering the door at the time and the contents of the ignited can were emptied on his head and face. Had it not been for the presence of mind of one of the students, who immediately wrapped a bath robe around Mr. Neville’s head, he might have been fatally burned. As it was he did not inhale the flame and his injuries, while painful, will not prove fatal.

After striking Mr. Neville, the gasoline can rolled into the street and was extinguished. Had its flaming contents not struck Mr. Neville they would have been dashed over the group of students in the doorway, with the probable result of the serious burning of several.

Charlotte Daily Observer, Charlotte, NC 29 Jan 1907