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CLEVELAND, OH: MAY, 1, 1912 – Five men were killed when Standard Oil Barge 88 exploded while docked at Jefferson Avenue. Barge 88 was being filled with gasoline from a 10,000-gallon tank on the bank while the men were working on a barge moored alongside. Leaking oil on the water’s surface ignited, setting Barge 88 on fire. Moments later, it exploded, enveloping the workmen in a huge fireball. Four other boats, a tug and two docks were set ablaze.
GILBERTSVILLE, MA: MAY 4, 1912 – Three girls lost their lives as fire raged through a four-story wooden tenement house. Two other girls were injured jumping from a window. The fire began on the second floor where a tenant was making breakfast. An excited crowd of spectators estimated at 1,500 people impeded the work of the firemen as they pressed in close to the burning building.
KANSAS CITY, MO: MAY 15, 1912 – An early-morning fire swept over five acres of cattle pens at the Kansas City Stock Yards. More than 2,000 head of cattle were confined in the yards at the time of the fire and most were killed. A government testing laboratory within the yards was destroyed.
SEA CLIFF, NY: MAY 17, 1912 – The Lloyd Building, in the heart of the business section of this village, was gutted by fire during the afternoon. The three-story frame structure occupied most of the triangular block bounded by Summit, Sea Cliff and Central avenues. In it were the public library, the Village Board’s rooms, the jail, the Sea Cliff Club and a dry goods store. No prisoners were in the jail at the time.
CARLISLE, PA: MAY 18, 1912 – A fire broke out in a building at the famed Carlisle Indian School. The student fire department was called on to fight its first blaze. The burning building contained the recital hall and a spacious auditorium. The student firefighters went to work and saved the structure. The famous Olympian Jim Thorpe was a student there at the time.
HOUSTON, TX: MAY 19, 1912 – A fire started just before 4 A.M. in the six-story Stowers Furniture Co. building at Main and Capital streets. When firemen arrived, the building was already fully involved with flames pouring from every window. Within minutes, the rear wall collapsed and the fire began to spread. Radiant heat was so intense firemen had great difficulty even approaching the fire building. Flames leaped to the four-story Mason Building and the three-story Latham Building, then jumped across Capital Avenue and ignited the Masonic Temple. Firemen held the fire to those four buildings. Captain Herman Wagner of Station 8 was struck in the head by a falling beam and died six days later.