New York, NY Building Explosion, Nov 1851

BROOKLYN -- AWFUL CALAMITY

EXPLOSION IN A POLYTECHNIC ESTABLISHMENT -- SEVERAL LIVES LOST.

Yesterday afternoon, soon after one o'clock, a serious accident occured in Raymond street, near Lafayette avenue, by which two lives were lost, and several other persons are not expected to survive. The particulars as near as we can learn them, are as follows:
About one o'clock a boy employed in the Polytechnic Manufactory of MESSRS. MORRIS & ROURKE, in Raymond street, attempted to kindle a fire in a stove, which had just been put up, when by some means of other, some communication of fire to a quantity of compound prepared for the manufacture of fire works, caused an explosion by which two boys were killed, one named JOHN DUFFY, about fifteen years of age, whose parents reside corner of Raymond street and Lafayette avenue, the other aged fourteen, named MICHAEL N. CUE, whose parents reside in Willoughby street, between Hudson avenue and Navy street. Their remains were shockingly mangled. The other persons injured are as follows:
MICHAEL CONLIN, aged fifteen, badly burnt and not expected to recover, carried to Hospital.
MICHAEL FITZGERALD, aged fourteen, at Hospital, and not expected to recover.
PETER SKELLY, burned about the head, breast and arms, at the Hospital, not dangerous.
JOHN DOWLAN, burnst similar to SKELLY, at the Hospital, will recover.
PATRICK FITZGERALD was burnt severely, but not dangerously; was taken to his residence in Livingston street.
JOHN NEWMAN was in the upper part of the building, but escaped but slightly burnt about the head. Another man, name unknown, had his hand badly burnt.
The building was of wood, one and a half stories high, owned by MISS JACKSON, and was of considerable value. When the explosion took place, an alarm of fire was given, but everything was consumed or leveled to the ground.
The firemen were early on hand, and some of them assert that the boys that were burnt in the building might have been rescued alive if it had not been told them that there was powder in the building that had not exploded. There seems to have been something wrong about this affair, as there were but few people, if any, in the neighborhood, imagined that they were living near a mine which might explode at any moment. It was generally supposed that stained-glass was manufactured in the building. The Coroner will hold an inquest this day.

The New York Times New York 1851-11-14