Halifax, NS Building Explosion, Oct 1934




Halifax, Oct. 11. -- (CP) -- Searchers today found the body of MRS. DANIEL DUDAS, sixth known victim of an explosion and fire that levelled a three-storey building here early this morning. Firemen continued digging through the debris for the body of a man believed buried in the fallen timbers.
The dead were:
MRS. DANIEL DUDAS, wife of the owner of the building.
PETER DUDAS, one year old, her son.
SONNY DUDAS, five, her son.
MRS. ROBERT CRUSE, wife of an unemployed laborer.
KATHLEEN CRUSE, her daughter.
JOSEPH CRUSE, her son.
Cause of the explosion was not determined. DUDAS, rushed to the city from Windsor, N. S., told police there was no gasoline in the building and not more than "a stick, maybe," of dynamite.
He was tearful and shaken, and his story was incoherent.
Halifax police officials believed a seventh victim of the early morning explosion that wiped out the building would be found. He was identified only as a man named FISHER, and employee of DUDAS.
Two other occupants escaped. ROBERT CRUSE, sleeping in a room on the second floor, was blown across Brunswick street and lay unconscious when neighbors arrived on the scene. He regained consciousness in hospital but offered no explanation of the blast. For hours he continued caling his wife and children.
EDNA DUDAS, 7, was not sure how she escaped but it is believed she climbed out of the debris before the flames spread. Little injured but severely shocked, she was taken to the home of a neighbor.
Believed to have been caused by dynamite stored in the cellar, the explosion rocked the south end of the city, awakened the residents and reminded them of the great Halifax explosion of 1917 which claimed 1,635 lives.
Flames shot 100 feet in the air, then the building collapsed like a pack of cards. The fire spread rapidly and firemen were forced to battle for three hours before rescue operations could be undertaken.
Shortly before 6 o'clock the body of one of the CRUSE children was found in its crib deep under the debris. Belief was experessed that it had smothered to death, and a policeman reported having heard a baby's cry shortly after arriving on the scene.
The bodies of MRS. CRUSE and her other child were found together half an hour later, and the charred bodies of the DUDAS children were recovered before 7 o'clock.
No trace of the man employed by MR. DUDAS had been found an hour later and police were endeavoring to confirm a report that he was not in the building at the time of the explosion.
MR. DUDAS, whose grocery occupied the first floor of the building, was in the Annapolis valley on a buying trip at the time.

The Lethbridge Herald Alberta 1934-10-11