DeGraff, OH Gas Explosion, Jan 1931

LIMA, DE GRAFF MEN KILLED IN GAS EXPLOSION.

GERALD ROGGERMAN, 31, AND ROY C. OWINGS, 48, ARE VICTIMS OF BLAST.

TWO OTHERS ARE INJURED.

LOGAN CO. AUTHORITIES OPEN PROBE OF ACCIDENT; FUNERAL SERVICES SET.

Two men, including a Lima resident, were killed and two other persons were injured late Monday afternoon in an explosion of artificial gas at DeGraff, 11 miles southwest of Bellefontaine.
The dead:
GERALD ROGGERMAN, 31, of 128 S. Park Avenue, Lima.
ROY C. OWINGS, 48, DeGraff, hotel-restaurant proprietor.
The injured are:
FOSTER GOSSARD, 31, of 799 S. Union St., Lima, assistant to ROGGERMAN, a collar bone fracture and body burns.
MRS. OWINGS, wife of the deceased, shock and body bruises.
Officials from Logan Co. Tuesday opened an investigation of the explosion.
ROGGERMAN, an employe of the American Gas Co. of Lima and father of two children, was killed instantly while OWINGS died in a Bellefontaine hospital from third degree burns suffered when an underground gas container exploded while it was being filled. His death occurred shortly before 8 p.m.
According to Logan Co. authorities, ROGGERMAN and GOSSARD were transferring artificial gas from their tank truck to the underground tank when the explosion occurred, shooting flames high into the air.
Force of the blast damaged the Arcade building in which OWINGS conducted his hotel-restaurant and also a small nearby building.
MRS. OWINGS was asleep in a room about 30 feet away at the time of the mishap.
GOSSARD told authorities ROGGERMAN was talking to OWINGS at the rear door of the restaurant while he was emptying the tank.
"Then the tank exploded," GOSSARD said.
"A second explosion followed quickly, throwing flames for several feet," he said.
ROGGERMAN a native of Belgium, had been employed as a service man for the American Gas Co. for almost two years.
GOSSARD was treated Monday night at Memorial hospital after being brought here in a private automobile. He later was taken to his residence.
Roggerman, who formerly resided in Detroit, is survived by his wife, Norma; a son, Robert Eugene, eight; and a daughter, Rose Marie, five.
Short funeral services will be conducted at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Davis-Miller and Son funeral home, N. West St., while regular services will be held in Detroit at a time to be decided. Interment will be in a Detroit cemetery.
OWINGS, a native of Hardin Co., had resided in DeGraff about 25 years and had owned the restaurant and hotel about 20 years.
He enlisted in the army and served at Ft. Knox for two years in his younger life. He was a Mason and a member of the DeGraff Legion post.
In addition to his wife, Nell, Owings is survived by a brother, Norman, of Springfield, and a sister, Mrs. M. H. Artz, of Bellefontaine.
Funeral arrangements have not been made.

The Lima News Ohio 1939-01-31