Lucas, OH Fire And Explosion, May 1890

SAVED BY THE RAIN.

A DELUGE PUTS OUT A THREATENING CONFLAGRATION.

TWO MEN KILLED AND TWENTY-FIVE WOUNDED.

Mansfield, O., May 26. -- A heavy rainstorm passed over this (Richland) county Saturday night, accompanied with lightning and thunder.
During the continuance of the storm lightning struck the John Charles block in Lucas, six miles east of this city, about 3 o'clock yesterday morning. The block, which was occupied by a hardware and general merchandise store, took fire from the stroke and was entirely consumed, together with two dwellings adjoining. There is no fire apparatus in the village, and the citizens turned out with buckets, and when they saw they could do nothing with the flames their efforts were directed toward saving the contents of the building.
While removing the goods about fifty pounds of dynamite which was kept in the store exploded with disastrous effect. The bodies of JOHN SMITH and JEREMIAH JONES were horribly mangled and mutilated beyond recognition. About twenty-five persons in all were more or less injured .
The killed are:
JOHN SMITH, leaves wife and family.
JEREMIAH JONES, age 50, leaves wife and family.
Seriously injured:
JOSEPH HANNA, had cuts on forehead, hand and legs.
F. RUSSELL, severe cut over left eye.
JOHN GALLAGHER, leg severely bruised by falling from a ladder.
F. MYERS, badly hurt, struck by flying bricks.
Of the remaining persons injured none are considered seriously hurt. Physicians were quickly summoned, who attended the injured.
The report of the explosion was heard five miles distant, and the shock was so great that nearly all the windows in the village were broken. The fire department of this city was called upon for assistance and the fire apparatus was put on a special train, but before they could start word reached them that the fire was under control. Rain came down in torrents, which put the fire out, otherwise half of the town would have been in ruins. The loss is estimated at $5,000 to $8,000.

Evening Gazette Sterling Illinois 1890