Lynn, MA Circus Tent Fire, Jun 1897


Six Persons Badly Burned and Two Will Probably Die.


He attempted to Fill a Burning Gasoline Torch.

Lynn, Mass., June 3. – Six persons were seriously, and two of them probably fatally burned at Lynn beach last night.

In connection with the zoo, which is exhibiting here, is a small side show in a tent about 50 feet from the main tent. This is lighted by gasoline torches. While one of the employes [sic] was filling a burning torch from a small tank of gasoline, which he had drawn from a larger tank, the fumes took fire and spread to the flap of the tent, running upward to the main pole, against which was the larger tank of gasoline. The man dropped the torch and ran to the centre of the tent, intending to pull down the pole, but in his hurry he overturned the large tank, and the flames spread rapidly.

The tent was well filled and all became greatly excited and attempted to get out. Several crawled under the canvas and escaped uninjured. Those who tried to get out by the entrance were not so fortunate, as here the heat was intense, and six persons were badly burned.

The injured are.
Annie Meyers, 24 Mount Pleasant street, Lynn, burned about the head, hands and face.
Maud Rhodes, 52 Rockaway street, Lynn, face hands, legs and body badly burned, will probably die.
Richard Doty, Washington street, Lynn, face and body badly burned, will probably die.
Wallace O. Stevens, 262 Cambridge street, East Cambridge.
Robert A. Hodgden, East Newton street, Malden.
John Cobin, Lynn, burned about the face and hands.

All were taken to the Lynn hospital and it is feared they may have inhaled the fumes of the gasoline and this may result in their death. The uproar caused by the fire created almost a panic among the animals in the zoo, and in the rush to get out a cage of lions was overturned, but no damage was done. One unknown woman was trampled under foot and was reported seriously injured.

North Adams Transcript, North Adams, MA 3 June 1897


Circus Tent Fire


Lynn, Mass., June 3. -- Five persons were burned by a gasoline explosion last night in a circus tent. Twenty people were injured in the wild scramble that followed the explosion. Those fatally hurt are Annie Myers, aged 24, May Rhodes, aged 23, Wallace O. Stevens, aged 31, Richard Doty, aged 36, John Cobin, aged 41. An employe was filling a torch with gasoline when the fumes caught fire and the flames spread to the tent.

The Aspen Weekly Times, Aspen, CO 5 Jun 1897