Pittsburgh, PA Street Car Fire, Feb 1904



Explosion of the Motors Sets the Vehicle on Fire, the Brakes Are Loosened and the Car Charges Down a Hill With Flames Bursting From It.

(By Associated Press.)

Pittsburg [sic], Pa., Feb. 20. - A blazing Larimer avenue electric car with all brakes off and carrying twenty passengers raced madly down Fifth avenue early today from Grant almost to Market street. For fifteen minutes after the car came to a stop, it blazed like a furnace. Four of the passengers were seriously hurt. They are: John Jones, and Dorothy Greenup, internally injured, unconscious and may die, Stanly Skasson and E. J. Thompson, internally injured.

As Grant street was reached eastbound, the front motor blew out. The motorman rushed to the rear and attempted to hold the car from that end. The second motor also exploded, and in an instant the rear end of the car was in flames.


In the panic that followed, some one released the air brake that held the car at the top of the hill. The flight back toward Market street began, the passengers crowded wildly toward the motorman's platform to escape the flames.

One woman, Dorothy Greenup, leaped over the high wire gate at the side of the front platform. Others attempted to follow, but the crowd was packed too tightly. When Market street was reached and the car stopped of itself, several people were still aboard although the car was more than half ablaze. E. J. Thompson broke through a window and dragged with him an unknown woman. He was severely hurt. Miss Greenup and John Jones were taken to the homeopathic hospital. The car was almost entirely consumed.

The Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh, WI 20 Feb 1904

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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