Louisville, KY Gasoline Explosion, May 1903

Courier Journal newspaper, Louisville, KY - Friday 15 May 1903



Was Standing Near Gasoline Which Burst Into Flames and Ignited His Clothing

GEORGE STRONG, the nine-year-old boy, who was burned Wednesday afternoon at the residence of his father, 1706 Willow Avenue, died early yesterday morning from the effects of the injuries sustained. His mother, Mrs. Robert Strong, besides being prostrated over the death of her son, is suffering from numerous burns which she received while trying to save her son from the flames. Dr. Groves, who is in attendance, considers her condition critical. The Strong lad was playing in the back yard of his father's home at the time of the accident.

Mrs. Strong had secured a quantity of gasoline which was to be used for cleaning some paint brushes. The brushes and the gasoline were taken out into the back yard by Mrs. Strong. The lad stood over the gasoline looking at his mother while she was cleaning the brushes. In some unknown manner the gasoline suddenly exploded. The liquid deluged the boy's clothing, which burst into flames. His shirt and trousers also caught on fire. Wildly excited the lad ran into the arms of his mother, screaming from the pain. Mrs. Strong had the presence of mind enough to roll the boy in the grass in an effort to extinguish the flames. She was badly burned about the hands and arms in the attempt. Young Strong was carried into the house by his mother, who summoned medical assistance. Drs. Groves and Cook responded at once and did everything intheir power to save the boy. He had been burned from his shoulders to his knees. The burns were so severe that it was almost impossible to treat them. the pain could not be deadened by anesthetics, and his screams could be heard up until a short time before his sufferings were relieved by death.

The dead boy was the son of Mr. Robert E. Strong, who is a bookkeeper for the Harry Weissin---r Tobacco Company. Owing to the serious condition of Mrs. Strong the funeral arrangements have not yet been completed.