Boiler Explosion Wrecks Building
Explosion of a boiler weighing 1,000 pounds in the cellar of a three-story wooden building at 281 Hamilton Street, Bridgeport, Conn., on January 15 hurled the boiler through three floors of the building, through the roof and to a point 528 feet away, a distance of one city block away from its original location.
The body of a 39-year old man was found. He attempted to pour cold water into the nearly red hot tank. A 1,500gallon still alleged by police to be used for the manufacture of bootleg whiskey was found in the front part of the wrecked building. The explosion was caused by quickly foaming steam in the empty boiler which had been heated by fire throughout the night, creating such tremendous pressure that it was forced upward.
A passerby at the time of explosion turned in an alarm from a street box. When fire apparatus arrived no fire was found but the building was a mass of torn fragments. In its upward course the boiler ripped through heavy beams with such terrific force that the building appeared as if it were a Japanese house of colored paper.