One Killed at Liquor Distillery Fire
Six million gallons of Whiskey were destroyed in a spectacular blaze which razed sonic buildings at the plant of Hiram Walker Sons, Peoria, Ill., and caused a loss estimated at $2,500,000. The body of a laborer was found in the ruins.
The prevailing belief regarding the cause of the fire is that the plant was built on made land. The settling of the walls of a rackhouse dislodged some of the 81,000 barrels of liquor, and that the whiskey came in contact with broken charged wires. It is impossible to accurately state the cause of the explosion which resulted in such large property damage, as all evidence was consumed by the intense flames.
The explosion and fire occurred at 10 p. m., destroying the recently completed rackhouse. Fire spread to the conthination shipping, cooperage and cistern building, and also to the rectifying and bottling plant, before the blaze was brought under control. Firemen responded from Peoria, Bartonvillc, Peoria Heights and Pekin. It was not until 2 am. that the fire was considered under control.
Many fire fighters were injured. A new member of the local department received painful injuries to a leg when a hose line stream went wild. Another was knocked against a wall by a hose line.
Large crowds were attracted by the flames. The intense heat kept the people from entering the plant grounds.
Thousands of fish in the Illinois River were killed by the liquor which was washed into it by fire streams.
As an aftermath to the fire, a suggestion was made that the city have a fireboat to protect its property along the waterfront.
The plant, which was completed a year ago, was considered to be the largest in the world. It was valued at $6,500,000.