Blasts Wreck Three Fireworks Plants
Fire of unknown origin wrecked an unlicensed fireworks plant at Bristol, R. I., and the resulting blast killed four people and damaged about five hundred homes in the immediate vicinity. The owner of the factory was blown through the roof, his son-in-law instantly killed, his son died in a hospital from injuries, and his wife who was working in the garden near the plant, was killed by flying fragments from bombs. One of the houses nearby was moved from its foundations and many of the homes had the plaster blown from the walls.
An explosion in a fireworks plant in the New Durham section of North Bergen, N. J., wrecked the factory and gave a large crowd a two-hour fireworks display. The plant known as the New York Fireworks Company consisted of a group of twelve frame shacks located in a swampy section of land on the western slope of the Palisades.
It is believed that rats gnawed at some explosive material, and that started the fire; the owner believes that the fire was started by members of a rival concern.
Fire apparatus was hampered by roads crowded with motorists drawn to the scene of the fire by the vivid fireworks display. When the firemen were able to clear a path for the apparatus, they found that the only way to get water was to lay a suction line to a creek, and much valuable time was lost. At one time it was feared that the watchman was killed, but he was observed when the excitement was at its height. The damage was estimated at $50,000.
The fireworks plant of the Wiegand Fireworks Company at Franklin Park, Chicago was wrecked, and the resulting blast jarred buildings in the entire suburb. Many windows were broken and two were injured from the blast. It is believed that the hot sun’s rays ignited a fuse and was responsible for the fire which destroyed three outer buildings and a part of the main plant.