Utica, KS Restaurant Explosion & Fire, May 1911


Explosion of Lamp Cause of Kansas Disaster

Utica, Kan., May 23.--Five daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Roach of this place, ranging in age from seven to sixteen years, were burned to death in a fire which started in the Roach restaurant.

The parents were severely burned. The mother of the young girls filled a lamp with gasoline by mistake. Preparatory to ascending a stairway leading to the second floor room, where her daughters were asleep, she applied a match to the lamp.

An explosion followed, the fire being communicated to a two-gallon can of gasoline, sending a burst of flames up the narrow stairway.

Aberdeen Daily News, Aberdeen, SD 23 May 1911