Pittsburg, PA Building Collapses, Apr 1900



Pittsburg, Pa., April 12. -- Without warning and with a rush and a roar the four-story brick building at the corner of Second Avenue and Wood Street collapsed today, burying in its ruins a number of people, three of whom were taken out dead, six were badly hurt and several others slightly injured.
The dead:
MRS. MARTHA JONES, aged 64, of 511 Second Avenue.
EUGENE BARNHARDT, Allegheny, salesman.
ARTHUR BIGLER, carpenter.
The injured:
NOEL CASPER of Emsworth, salesman, leg broken.
JOSEPH SLOSS, lieutenant fire company No. 1, ribs broken.
MICHAEL SHANG, steam fitter, leg broken and arm crushed.
JAMES SULLIVAN, steam fitter, badly cut and bruised.
JAMES V. SIMS, carpenter, badly cut and bruised.
AUGUST FERDEGARD, aged 64, was found in the cellar of the wrecked building suffering severely from shock.
The building was occupied by the Armstrong-McKelvy Lead and Oil Company. It was being remodeled by Contractors McGovern & Lyte, who were converting the lower floors of the corner store and that next door into one large room. About forty-eight feet of the middle partition had been removed and steel girders supported by heavy iron posts were in place and the finishing touches were being put on the remodeling work. The firm this morning began the transfer of its stock from one room to the other and apparently centralized the heavy weight of the leads and oils about the middle of the structure.
The collapse began by the second floor breaking through, carrying with it the two floors above, making a breach from top to bottom through the center of the building.
The fact that the rear portion of the building on Second Avenue did not collapse saved many lives. It was in that part of the building that the offices were located in which there were about ten persons. Those who were in the rear portion of the building heard the crash and ran out of the side door into Second Avenue and escaped. The loss to the firm will be about $40,000.
MRS. JONES, the woman killed, was in the store for some paint and evidently had just completed her purchase, for when her body and that of Salesman BARNHARDT, who had waited on her, were found the man had a five-dollar bill in his hand and the woman clutched her pocketbook, demonstrating the fact that the collapse came so suddenly that neither had time to move.

San Francisco Cell California 1900-04-18

History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania 1889 Read it online

Memoirs of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania : personal and genealogical, with portraits Read it online

History of Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania 1886 Read it online

Allegheny County : a sesqui-centennial review 1938 Read it online

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