Winona, WA explosion and fire, Aug 1907


Dynamite in Burning Depot Destroys Town of Winona.

SPOKANE, Aug. 3. - Fire and an explosion of dynamite stored in the Oregon Railroad & Navigation company's coal sheds at Winona, Wash., killed one man, injured 20 people and almost wiped the town out of existence, late last night.

R. E. Buchanan, a car inspector, was killed, and his body burned to a crisp while trying to save some of the goods of the company from the freight shed. L. D. Broils, car inspector, had his face disfigured with fire. William Walls, postmaster and druggist, had his face badly burned, head and hand injured. About 20 other people received slight injuries.

The dynamite had been stored by the company last autumn, following the completion of work on a cut near town. Train No. 8 set fire to the depot. The majority of the people did not know the dynamite was there, and assisted in fighting the fire. Then the dynamite and a gasoline tank exploded.

Every House Damaged.

Every house and building in town was damaged. Windows and doors were blown in and household furniture smashed. The explosion was heard for miles around. Fire followed, destroying a large share of the town. The Commercial hotel was completely destroyed, entailing a loss of $1,800; Lester's general store, $5,500; Bank of Winona, $500; Dr. Victor's office, $1,800; Fockler & Shappard, saloon, $400; Hart hotel, $300. The company denies that there was dynamite in the coal shed, but dozens of residents are ready to swear that there was.

A coroner's inquest is in progress and two deputy sheriffs from Colfax are investigating. The company, it is claimed, will be held liable for the total damage.

The O. R. & N. depot, coal sheds, section houses and watertank were blown to pieces and burned.

The Morning Olympian, Olympia, WA 4 Aug 1907
Explosion and Fire Damage Town.

SPOKANE, Washington, Aug. 3. - Fire, followed by an explosion in the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company's coal shed at Winona, Washington, killed R. E. Buchanan, a car inspector, injured twenty persons and almost wiped out the town last night, including the Commercial Hotel. The railroad denies that there was dynamite in the coal shed.

The New York Times, New York, NY 4 Aug 1907