Saturday, October 11, 2014

1897 :: A Fatal Explosion



Rockdale, Tex., Oct. 10. -- One of the seventy-five horse-power boilers of the water and electric light plant blew up last night, completely wrecking the entire plant, house and machinery. An eight-foot section of the front end of the boiler was blown three blocks away, passing over several houses, and fell on Mr. Rexford Wells' seed shute, completely demolishing it and otherwise damaging his gin house. The other portion of the boiler was blown about a block in the opposite direction, landing in Mr. Davis' cow lot. Two large pieces of timber crashed through the roof and ceiling of Mrs. Charles Brieger's house, over a block away, and completely demolished two bedsteads on which he and three other members of his family were sleeping. Fortunately none of the family were hurt. The fireman, Mr. Antone Strelsky, was killed, and M. Wooldridge and J.L. Wooldridge, father and son, injured, the young man seriously. The town is left without light or water, and it is thought it will be thirty days before either can be supplied. The situation grows more serious every hour, as the people realize they are entirely without water and the difficulty of procuring it. The loss is estimated at $8000. Dallas Morning News, October 11, 1897

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