Port Bowkley, PA Wyoming Colliery Mine Explosion, May 1895

Fire in a Mine

The Carelessness of a Polish Miner Results Seriously.

By United Press.

Wilkes-Barre, May 31. A fire of a most serious nature broke out in the north shaft of the Wyoming colliery of the Lehigh Valley Coal company at Port Bowkley to-day, and at 11 o’clock to-night was burning fiercely, and fully five hundred feet of the gangway was a blazing furnace.

A terrific explosion also was caused by the fire at 6 o’clock this evening and Patrick J Duddy, a mine boss, and Morgan Revan, timberman, were badly burned. The cause of the fire is laid to a Polish miner who was at work in his breast in the mine and in some way set off a small feeder of gas. He endeavored to extinguish the flames, but was unable to do so, and without raising an alarm or notifying anyone, he made his way to the foot of the shaft, and went home.

The flames made rapid headway and soon spread to the timbers and brattice work, and first intimation that anything was wrong came through the smell of smoke that made its way through the mine and was drawn to the surface. The mine bosses and fire bosses at once located the blaze, and realizing that they had a hard fight before them, began active preparations at once to subdue the flames.

Daily Gazette and Bulletin, Williamsport, PA 1 Jun 1895


Fire at Colliery.

Wilkesbarre, Pa., June 2.--The fire in the north gangway of the Wyoming colliery at Port Bowkley has broken out afresh and preparations are being made tonight to flood the mine.

The fire is in the most valuable portion of the colliery, a long distance from the foot of the shaft, and is now very hard to reach. The work of drowning the fire may require weeks to accomplish and in the meantime several hundred men and boys will be thrown out of employment.

The loss to the Lehigh Valley Coal Company will be great and cannot be estimated at this time.

The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, GA 3 Jun 1895


Mine Fire Breaks Out Again.

WILKESBARRE, Pa., June 3.--The fire in the Port Bowkley mine, which was gotten under control Friday night and extinguished early Saturday morning, broke out in another part of the mine yesterday. Two hundred men are at work fighting the fire. Pipes were laid from the Susquehanna river to the mouth of the colliery, and the lower levels of the mine will be flooded, so as to prevent the spread of the fire to other sections of the mine.

M9iddletown Daily Argus, Middletown, NY 3 Jun 1895