amyatishkin (amyatishkin) wrote,

К удобству индивидуального отопления

Aftermath of the McCrory disaster, a virtually forgotten chapter in the history of Washington, D.C.: At 1:32 p.m. on Nov. 21, 1929, a boiler in the basement of the McCrory five-and-dime store at 416 Seventh Street NW exploded, demolishing the ground floor

[Washington Post]Washington Post, November 22, 1929.
Concrete, Steel, Wood Sent Hurtling Through Air as Basement Explosion of Undetermined Origin Occurs in Midst of Shopping Crowd.

Caught helpless and unwarned in a veritable maelstrom of flying debris, hurled into the street by an explosion of undetermined origin in the basement of the J.G. McCrory Five and Ten Cent Store, 416 Seventh street northwest, at 1:32 o'clock yesterday afternoon, five persons are dead, five more so seriously injured it is believed they will die, while nearly two-score others are less seriously hurt. Fifteen of these received treatment at hospitals. …

Three fire alarms and calls for first aid equipment brought all the downtown fire apparatus, the Fire Rescue Squad, ambulances from all hospitals, the Red Cross and public utility emergency cars to the scene, with police reserves arriving in squads. …

While the exact cause of the explosion had not been determined last night, it was learned that the welded end of a 500-gallon tank in the boiler room of the store, located under the sidewalk, had been blown out. Just what caused the tank to explode is what the investigators are endeavoring to learn. …

Frank Brown, colored janitor in charge of the furnace narrowly escaped being in the furnace room at the time of the explosion, employees of the store said. He had been mopping floors in the store and was just preparing to go to the furnace room when it occurred. He is understood to have told Acting Fire Marshal Achstetter that he had coaled the fire at 7:30 o'clock yesterday morning, and, as is customary, had not looked at it since.
Tags: shorpy

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