Kingstree SC, Gulf Oil fire April 1916

Kingstree Watches its Biggest Blaze

People See Remarkable Fire From Safe Distance as Gasoline is Destroyed

Special to The State
Kingstree, April 15--The biggest blaze that has ever been seen in this community started Wednesday night about 10 o'clock at the storage building of the Gulf Oil Refining company, which is located in the northeastern section of town. P.S. Courtney is the local agent of this company and had stored in the building something over 100 iron drums of gasoline and a large quantity of kerosene. S.H. DuBose, the delivery man for Mr. Courtney, was in the building filling his tanks for the following day's delivery to customers. He carried a lantern and in some way the building was accidently ignited. An alarm was given, and the fire department were quickly on the scene but owing to the inflammable nature of the contents of the building, it was possible to save only adjoining property.
The fire presented a great sight as the black clouds of smoke and the dazzling flames shot alternately hundreds of feet into the air, and the boom of one explosion after another followed in rapid succession, the force of the explosions throwing parts of the iron containers or drums hundreds of feet away. On this account people were loath to go near the burning building.
The flames rapidly spread to the ginnery and office building of the Southern Cotton Oil company, and both buildings, including all machinery and fixtures, were quickly consumed. The seed house adjoining the oil mill and the residence of S.A. Anderson caught also but the efficient work of the fire department saved them from destruction. The Atlantic Coast Line railroad company, whose tracks are very near the location of the burned buildings, came in for small damages in burned ties and telegraph poles and crossarms. The Cotton Oil company had just completed $1,100 worth of repairs to the property a day or two prior to the fire.
The assistant district manager of the Southern Cotton Oil company, Columbia, was on the scene early yesterday and said that a new ginnery would be erected to replace the one destroyed. Work on this will be started without delay so as to have it ready for operation by the time the fall crop is ready for ginning

The State: April 16, 1916

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