Ben Avon, PA Landslide & Fire, Mar 1908


Two Lives Lost and Many Endangered by Sudden High Gas Pressure.

PITTSBURG, March 19. Two Chinese are believed to have perished, scores of persons are suffering from inhaling gas, eight places were either set on fire or were the scenes of explosions, and many persons narrowly escaped death early today as a result of a landslide, which demolished the gas regulator house of the Manufacturers’ Light and Heat plant at Ben Avon, a suburb, causing a sudden heavy pressure of gas.

Fire was first discovered in a Chinese laundry. The ringing of the fire bells awakened practically every family in the suburb who found their homes were rapidly filling with escaping gas, flames were shooting high in the air from the tops of many stoves and gas jets and walls were blistered by the excessive heat.

In a number of instances incipient fires had already started. Before the gas could be shut off, hot water bailers in several houses exploded causing consternation. It is believed that had not the residents been awakened by the fire bells, many would have succumbed to the deadly fumes of the gas.

Burned to Death: Pittsburg – A Chinese laundry at Benavon, a suburb, was destroyed by fire early today and the proprietors, HOP LEE and JIM YOUNG, are believed to have been burned to death.

Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA 12 Mar 1908