Kansas City, MO Department Store Explosion, July 1960


Kansas City, Mo. (AP) -- An explosion ripped out the top three floors of a seven-story downtown department store Monday night. Burning debris rammed through a two-story furniture store next door. Both buildings were destroyed by fire.
A smaller clothing store and another furniture store also caught fire. There was water and smoke damage at a number of other businesses.
The seven-story ECO store and the Star Furniture Co., between 12th and 13th Streets on Grand Avenue were destoryed. ECA employes consumer Organization was a discount merchandising house that included 14 different concerns.
RONALD DAVIS, a night watchman, was standing about a block away when the explosion occurred.
"The roof of the building jumped about 20 feet and came down in a mass of flames. There was debris flying everywhere," he said.
There was only one known injury. Flying glass cut GARY D. WYNES, 25, who was walking opposite the building when the explosion occurred.
Minutes after the blaze, the buildings were reduced to shells. Walls of the furniture store later collapsed.
The explosion shattered windows of at least a dozen buildings.
The sprinkler system was set off on five of the seven floors of the Jenkins Music Co., located back of the ECO building. J. W. Jenkins, executive vice president of the firm, said water damage was considerable.
The cause of the explosion was undetermined.

Delaware County Daily Times Chester Pennsylvania 1960-07-05