Hartford, CT Aetna Pyrotechnic Fire, May 1892

BLOWN UP BY GREEK FIRE

FIVE KILLED AND FOUR INJURED AT HARTFORD.

THE WORKS WERE IN A THICKLY SETTLED PART OF THE CITY----ONE OF THE PROPRIETORS KILLED WHO CAME TO PAY THE HELP.

HARTFORD, May 21.---The Ætna Pyrotechnic Works in this city were destroyed by an explosion of Greek fire this afternoon at 4:30 o'clock. The disaster caused the instant death of five persons, three of whom were women:

KILLED.

J. L. B. SIBLEY.
GEORGE SEINSOTH.
MISS CAPEN.
MISS EMMA TARBOX.
MRS. EMMA TRAGANZA.

INJURED.

GEORGE F. STEVENS.
MISS MAGGIE KEATING.
MISS ROSE HARVEY.
MISS KITTIE GOLDING.

By the time the Fire Department was able to reach the scene the ruins were in flames. In half an hour bodies were rescued. One of the first to be taken out was that of J. L. B. Sibley, who had just reached the place to pay off the help.

He was the head bookkeeper for the druggist firm of Talcott & Frisbie, and was one of the owners of the pyrotechnic works. Sibley was unmarried. He had nieces living in Brooklyn.

The body of George Seinsoth had not late to-night been recovered. The body of Miss Capen of Cottage Grove was frightfully mutilated. Emma Tarbox and Mrs. Emma Traganza were of this city.

Miss Tarbox was was the forewoman. She was the daughter of Charles Tarbox, foreman of Engine Company No.3, which responded to the alarm. Foreman Tarbox identified his daughter as her remains were removed from the ruins. It was with great difficulty that the Capen girl could be identified by her relatives.

George F. Stevens was severely injured, and was removed to the hospital for treatment. It is now understood that his injuries will not prove fatal.

Maggie Keating and Kittie Golding of this city, and Rose Harvey of Cottage Grove were the only girls taken out alive.

It will not be possible to ascertain the real cause of the disaster. The business of manufacturing the Greek fire has been carried on here for eight years, and the works have been located in a thickly-settled part of the city. The Coroner will make a thorough investigation.

E. C. Frisble, the principal owner, was in New Haven at the time of the explosion, but hastened here on the first train to assist in caring for the unfortunate victims. The scene of the disaster was nearly identical with that of the great car-workers explosion in 1854, by which fifty persons were killed and wounded.

James Berry, the engineer, left the building a moment before the explosion, going into a connecting factory to ask what time it was. As he turned to go back the crash came. His life was saved by this circumstance.

By direction of Mayor Hyde electric lights were rigged so that the work of recovering the body of Seinsoth could go on. The explosion broke the windows in all buildings thereabout and drew to the scene and immense crowd of people.

The New York Times, New York, NY 22 Mar 1892

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