New York, NY Lightning Strike and Explosion, Jan 1889

ROSE IN THE AIR

The Devastation Caused By a Flash of Lightning

NEW YORK, January 9 – A tank of the Citizens Gas Company at Fifth and Smith streets, Brooklyn, was stuck by a flash of lightning at 7:30 o’clock tonight and the immense structure at once rose in the air, causing an explosion that was heard for a long distance, even in New York. At once the flames loomed up, and Brooklyn was lurid with the light of burning gas for several minutes, when suddenly all became dark. The people of the neighborhood ran from their houses, thinking that an earthquake had occurred, and there was great excitement. A number of houses were injured. All the gaslights west of Atlantic avenue were extinguished.

Another tank was connected by pipes with the one that first exploded, and it caught the flame and exploded. They were about one hundred and fifty feet apart. The third tank was saved by the watchman turning off the gas. One of the immense tanks was thrown out into the street, while an outhouse within a block of the explosion escaped injury. The windows were blown out and the shutters and chimneys dislodged. Fences and other debris were blown about. The electric light wires were blown down, and they had to be guarded. The Citizens’ electric light building, two miles away, had its line roof torn off and thrown down the street. No one was killed.

The Atlantic Constitution, Atlanta, GA 10 Jan 1889