Note: This is an encore post from 2006.
Aug. 3, 1907
An enormous explosion shattered the night in the Dayton Heights neighborhood near what is now Virgil Avenue and Middlebury Street.
“The shock of the explosion awakened people for blocks around, many of them rushing out of doors in their nightclothes, fearing that an earthquake had occurred,” The Times said. “Several men were on the scene in a few minutes.”
Neighbors discovered Mrs. William Morley, dazed and stumbling outside the smoking ruin that was once her six-room home. Morley said she had gone to the kitchen to cook something and when she struck a match to light her gasoline stove, the blast blew out the walls of the house, which burned to the ground.
“She did not say how she happened to be up at that hour, fully dressed,” The Times said. “The mysterious feature about the case is the fact that the explosion was strong enough to wreck the building and still left the woman uninjured.”
The house was valued at $1,000 ($20,523.57 USD 2005) and the contents at $500 ($10,261.79 USD 2005). Domania has the current values.
Above, a home-wrecking gasoline stove.