A River of Fire.
Park.hr, Pa., Aug. 14 A heavy rainstorm passed over this vicinity this morning, between four and five o’clock, which was accompanied by terrific thunder and lightning. At a few minutes to five the lightning struck a twenty thousand-barrel oil tank belonging to the William MunhaU Company, of Pittsburgh. The tank was situated on a large hill, directly -opposite Parker City, and was filled with oil of the United Pipe Line Company. The stroke aud explosion were terrific, shaking all the buildings in the neighborhood. The top of the tank was found a mile off. The tank burst, and tlie oil spread like a river down the ravines towards the Alleghany river... The burning oil passed through the end of Kollyville, burning the houses, barn, sheds, and fences of William Fenton, the house and barn of Alfred Wier, and the storehouse of J. N. YirJing. The wave then stvuok and destroyed, the oil well, times tanks, derricks, and a number of shanties owned by W. H., Piper, and two tanka of the United Pipe Line. Weir and his family, barely escaped with, their lives. The wave then struck the Alleghany Valley Railroad track, and passed into the river. For a time it was thought that the fire would swim the river and burn the entire town. The flames leapt up four hundred feet above the water, making a grand sight. A stream of burning oil took the other ravine, destroying Reichert’s brickyard, the well-rig, enginehouse, and tank of Graham and Jackson, the coalyard of W. Dee, four cars of the Kama City and Butler Railway, a V track, store, and outhouse of Isaac Leisy and Co., Cleveland, and lastly a seven thousand-barrel tank-«of the Graham Oil Company, full of oil, all of which was destroyed. Ditches were dug by the firemen, and citizens saved the depot and other buildings. Great excitement prevails. Later. Since the above was written the following property has been destroyed:— Another house and barn of William Fenton, worth SOOOdol, a number of derricks, and several wells. A twenty thousandbarrel tank of the United Pipe Line Company caught fire, but through the great efforts of the employees, who risked their lives, the tank was saved. The fire is now raging fiercely. The loss cannot be estimated, but will probably reach 75,600d0l or lOOjOOOclol.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 20, 11 November 1879
A River of Fire. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 20, 11 November 1879
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