Pensacola, FL Newport Tar & Turpentine Co Explosion & Fire, Jan 1926

Five Believed Buried Under Factory Ruins

Firemen Continue to battle $200,000 Blaze Started by Blast

Ten Are Injured In Mystery Accident

Cause of Tragedy Undetermined by Heads of Business

Pensacola, Fla., Jan. 2.-(AP)-With the known dead numbering twelve, ten injured in hospitals and five workmen missing, firemen continued tonight to battle flames which resulted today when a fire retort at the Newport Tar and Turpentine company exploded, with expectation that the bodies of the missing would be recovered from the ruins.

Fire officials estimated the damage to the property at $200,000. The blast which came a little more than an hour after the plant opened today, demolished one unit of the large plant in which 22 men were working. Flames spread in the resinous premises and soon engulfed other units. Some of those who were injured were believed to have been standing near the unit which exploded and were caught before they could flee to safety.

The cause of the explosion was undetermined tonight. Many of those killed were badly mutilated and some of the bodies are still in the burning unit. It will probably be impossible to remove them tonight, officials said.

Firemen reported they could see three bodies behind a barrier of flame in the until where the explosion occurred. It was believed several of those who are missing may have been trapped by smaller explosions in some of the other burning units.

Nevada State Journal, Reno, NV 3 Jan 1926


Tom Gravette

I believe I can help you. These are my relatives. Please respond.

turpentine plant explosion in Florida, 1926

I may have a relative who was killed in this explosion . His name was Tom Gravette. Does anyone have any follow-ups! I have been trying to find out where (city, state) his body was taken to be buried and anything else I can find out about him. His wife would have been my great aunt. She was so distraught that she committed suicide later on.