Marion, IN Oil Well Fire, May 1899

SIX MEN ARE INJURED.

OIL SURROUNDING A NEW WELL IGNITES.

CAUSED BY A CARELESS SPECTATOR STRIKING A MATCH – INDIANA NEWS.

MARION, Ind., May 31. – The striking of a match by a careless spectator near an oil well three miles east of Marion last evening, causing the oil surrounding the well to ignite, and, like powder, it instantly spread, consuming everything for squares.

Six men who were on the tank into which the oil was pouring were terribly burned before they could escape. The victims were: THOMAS MCDONALD, of Bluffton, owner of the well; L.S. GORDON, Montpelier, foreman of the Indiana Pipe Line company; SAMUEL SPELLACY, Lima, Ohio, an oil producer; MACK WATTS, of Lima, Ohio, a producer; ALBERT G. FORD, of Kokomo, Ind., traveling for the Daniel Steward Drug company; FRED L. ROSE, Philadelphia, a silk merchant.

All of the men were terribly burned about the face and hands, but none are dead. They were brought to the hospital in Marion, where they are being treated. The flesh fell from the hands and faces of the more seriously burned while being dressed. One hundred barrels of oil was in the tank at the time, and the ground surrounding was covered with oil. Those caught on the tank were compelled to go through flaming oil for fifty feet, and two of them fell from exhaustion and were rescued by Samuel Spellacy, who nearly lost his life in saving them.

Fort Wayne News, Fort Wayne, IN 31 May 1899