June 18 1894 SF Chronicle

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June 18 1894 SF Chronicle - BLOWN FE0MJ1LL Leaking GasoIineCausesaa...
BLOWN FE0MJ1LL Leaking GasoIineCausesaa Explosion Shocking Bnrningof a Young Rancher Another Death by Asphyxiation Occurred Occurred Several Hours Before Preclal m snatch to trie CBnortct - st Sax Joss June 17 Tho Taaffe ranch about four miles from Mountain View was the scene of two terrible accidents resulting in the death of Fred Hoffman and the shocking injury of Martin Taaffe who is suffering ternMe agony from the effects of burns about the face and bands A tank of gasoline emptied dose to an open well was the cause of Ihe accident Saturday morning Hoffman arose early and left the house before the others Of the family were astir He did not return and great anxietr was felt concerning his absence absence as he had not appeared when Mr Taaffe returned in the evening from Mountain Mountain View About 11 oclock that night Mrs Taaffe awoke her husband and said Something tells me that Fred is in the well With a lighted candle they proceeded to the well Mr Taaffe descended to the platform where the pump is placed Now said he to his wife give me the candle and I will take a look around No she returned It smells badly down there and - it might be dangerous Despite her objections and reluctance she finally hande i him the candle when instantly a terrible explosion occurred and a sheet of flame shot - up from the well Then a second explcion occurred and again a fiery column flashed up Completely Completely enveloping Mr Taaffe both times With desperation born of dreud of death and iove of life be made his way to the ground where he was immediately re moved to the bouse The flames con tinned to burn for nearly ten minutes shooting upwird over twelve feeL When Dr Kellv of San Jose arrived he preceded after dressing Taaffes in juries to find Hoffman whom ail supposed supposed to be in the well V ith a book - on a rope several trials j were made and finally tue hook caught j in the clothing and the body was brought to the surface It showed evidence of having been there many hours The accident to Hoffman probiblv hap pened as a result of gasoline having been poured out on the ground and seeping into the well tilling it with deadly gas Hoffman on going out that morning concluded concluded to overhaul the pump That he did this was evidenced by tho fact that tools were found on the platform by the pump and the pump itself was partly taken to pieces Being unaware of gas in the well he descended to the pump platform and to his death While working there he wis probably overcome by the gas and fail mg from tbe platform into the water was drowned while unconcious His mother is p - ostrated with grief and mourning nils the household Tbe Coroner held an inquest this after noon and the jury returned a verdict of death from asphyxittion Ihe deceased was a native of California California a brother in law of Taaffe and was only 19 years old His father is a mine - owner in Mexico laaSe is a nephew of B D Murphy of this city Taafes injuries are of a most painful nature He was corapletelv enveloped in tbe tire and hardly an inch of his body unprotected by cotbmg vas left uninjured uninjured Both hands and wrists were a mass of blisters and his face was badly burned His hair was singed close to his head and bis evebrowa and lashes - are en - tl rely gone To - night he was resting quietly and the doctors think that he will recover though not tor many weeks Had it not been for the timely assistance of biwife who dragged him from the mouth of tbe well as he was about to fall back death would have been a certainty

Clipped from San Francisco Chronicle18 Jun 1894, MonPage 7

San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco, California)18 Jun 1894, MonPage 7
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