New Vienna Rocked by Explosions
Wilmington News-Journal - Jan.28, 1974
Gasoline in Sewer Blamed
NEW VIENNA –– This village was rocked by several explosions early today that ripped the inside of three buildings causing extensive damage.
An official at the scene said the explosions were apparently the result of gasoline spilled from a tank truck at the back of the Marathon Station, entering sewage lines.
New Vienna school, located five blocks from the explosions, was evacuated and a two block area around the explosion was sealed off.
The first explosion, which occurred at 8:45 a.m. at the Monarch Bar & Grill, owned by Dwayne Blackburn, totally destroyed the inside of the building. The Monarch is two buildings down from the Marathon station.
A building owned by Lloyd Duff, on Main St. opposite the Monarch, received major damage from an explosion. The back side of the house appeared to be shaken loose.
A home owned by Richard Curtis and rented by Mrs. Sadie Garen on West St., about a block away from the Marathon Station, also received heavy damage from an explosion.
Mrs. Garen said, "I was sitting on the couch and my son came to me and said he smelled gas. I said I did too and checked the kitchen stove, then looked out the front window, and saw fire coming out of the sewer hole." The sewer is right in front of Mrs. Garen's front door.
Mrs. Garen said she grabbed her four-year-old son and 18-month-old baby and ran out the back door. As she was leaving she said she heard her "furnace blow."
Also she said that fire was coming out of a sewer, in back of the Curtis property, "as high as this ceiling." Mrs. Garen went to a friend's house on Main St., where she and her children spent the morning.
The State Fire Marshal's office, the New Vienna and Wilmington Fire Departments, the Sheriff's Department and the New Vienna Police Department were on the scene.