Brooklyn, NY Distillery Fire, Feb 1860

Boiler Explosion in a Distillery.


At about 10 1/2 o'clock yesterday morning, a boiler in the distillery of MESSRS. FURMAN & POLLY, on North Fourth, near First-street, exploded, destroying a large portion of the main building, killing two men at work on the premises, and injuring two others at work in the vicinity. The explosion was so violent that fragments of the boiler and portions of the building were thrown a distance of several hundred feet.

The distillery was a large brick building, five stories high, occupying nearly one block of ground, and was in full operation at the time of the accident. The boiler house is situated at the west end and contained seven boilers. The fire had been drawn from four of these, and had been kindled under the other two just before the explosion. The engineer says that the water in the boilers could only have just begun to boil when the explosion took place. GEORGE BELL, who was employed in the stables at the rear of the distillery, cleaning a horse, was caught beneath a mass of brick, which fell upon the stable and crushed him under the ruins. When taken out he was quite dead, and upon him were found two heavy pieces of timber, and the horse which he had been engaged in cleaning. THOMAS SHANNON was at work in the blacksmith-shop of LAWRENCE S. FOLE, on the corner of North Fifth and First streets. A portion of the boiler and a quantity of brick fell upon the roof of the shop burying him beneath the debris. He was dead when extricated. DANIEL BLANEY and CHARLES SOUTHERN were slightly injured. Both of the men killed leave large families, who were dependent upon their labors for support. The explosion, it is said was caused by the iron of the boiler being too thin. MESSRS. TRUMAN & POLLY's loss will be about $20,000.

The Coroner impanelled a jury last evening, and the investigation of the cases will be commenced today.

The New York Times, New York, NY 3 Feb 1860