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Archive for Wednesday, October 17, 2012

100 years ago: Gas explosion destroys Lawrence home

October 17, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Oct. 17, 1912:

"A terrific explosion caused by a leaky gas fixture completely wrecked the A. G. Alrich home, 345 Indiana street, last night shortly after 8 o'clock. Mr. Alrich was also badly burned about the face as a result of the explosion and his hands were quite severely burned in extinguishing the blaze that followed. His injuries are extremely painful and he is unable to be downtown and probably will be confined to his home for several days. The accident was due entirely to a leaky fixture. Plumbers were at work yesterday doing some electric wiring and installed a large shower light in one of the rooms. This light is equipped with both gas and electricity and in doing the work it is said that a bad connection was made and the gas leaked through into the room. A small pilot jet was burning in the shower and when Mr. Alrich stepped into the room to turn on another light the explosion followed. The report could be heard for blocks and the interior of the house was one flash of flames. Fire started, the curtains and other loose substances in the room being ignited from which the fire spread. The furniture in this room is practically a total loss, the plastering was torn loose and the upper floor blown up. Mr. Alrich and other members of the family extinguished the blaze but in doing so Mr. Alrich was badly burned. A fire alarm was turned in but the fire was out by the time the department arrived. The walls of the house are badly out of position as a result of the force of the explosion and a large hole was torn in one side of the building. Other damage was done to the house and it is practically necessary to rebuild it."

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