Dallas, TX Explosion At Baker Hotel, June 1946

Baker Hotel, Dallas




Dallas, June 22 (AP) -- Firemen and wreck experts dug today in the rubble-filled basement of the swank Baker hotel with possibility they may uncover more victims of the terrific explosion which Friday took a known toll of seven dead and 41 injured.
Explosions Expert GEORGE M. KINTZ of the United States Bureau of Mines said after a survey, "We can't tell a thing about the cause yet. It takes time -- the cause may never be confirmed."

Third Major Disaster.
Fire Chief C. N. PENN called in KINTZ and E. L. MITCHELL of San Antonio, representative of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, to assist in an exhaustive investigation. The explosion was the third major hotel disaster in the nation in 16 days.
The explosion took place shortly before noon in a sub-basement where workmen were installing refrigeration equipment. Ammonia in huge quantities poured out of the basement and into the lobby and rooms.
Guests were orderely and no panic ensued. Some on the upper floors started hurrying out with baggage but returned to their rooms when firemen assured them there was no danger of fire.

Building Termed Safe.
City Building Inspector JOHN FIES said the building was sound and safe despite a gaping hole in the east wall at the basement level. Guests were ordered to evacuate their rooms, but returned in a few minutes after it was decided the building was safe.
No guests were known to be killed or injured. The victims were hotel employes or outside workmen. The explosion shook the 18-story, 700-room building and made skyscrapers tremble for blocks around.

The Port Arthur News Texas 1946-06-22

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Baker Hotel explosion of June 1946

My grandfather was working as a maintenace/boiler operator at the time of this explosion. His name was Jack Elmore and he and 2 other employees were trapped in the subbasement after one of the boilers exploded. He told us about it in great detail. One of the things he mentioned was that they would have not survived if it wasn't for the advice of his supervisor while they waited to be rescued. As the amonia gas started filling the subbasement, his supervisor told them to get down as low as possible and breathe through wet rags that they continued rinsing. If anyone knows more about this event please contact me at the email address listed above.

Jason Elmore

My great grand father was

My great grand father was staying in the hotel and jumped from the 13 floor... he went on later to commit suicide from his addiction to morphine from his shattered ankles from the jump!

my dad was cook and onlt

my dad was cook and onlt servivior in ketchen pls call me 214-757-9725