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Mine Disasters in
the United States


Fire and Brimstone by Michael Punke

North Butte Mining Company
Granite Mountain Copper Mine Fire
a.k.a. Speculator Mine

Butte, Montana
June 8, 1917
No. Killed - 163



See also:   Granite Mountain Shaft Explosion, Oct. 19, 1915

From the Google News Archives:  External Link
(news links open in a separate window)
Successful Rescue
Twenty-five of 29 miners imprisoned on the 2400-foot level of the Speculator Mine of the North Butte Mining Company were brought to the surface after being trapped for 36 hours.  They owed their lives to crew member, Manus Duggan, a 20-year-old nipper boy, who didn't make it out himself.  According to Nyrja Johnson, the first man to the surface, Duggan directed all the work in their effort to barricade themselves from the gases.  He had the men strip naked and use their clothes to block out the toxic gas.  Duggan became lost when he went ahead of the crew to test for gases.  Source document.
During the night shift the flame of a carbide lamp accidentally set fire to the uncovered and frayed insulation of an armored power cable near the 2,400-foot level of the Granite Mountain shaft.  The highly flammable oiled fabric set fire to the shaft timbers, and inasmuch as this was a downcast shaft, the fire spread rapidly and soon filled the mine workings with smoke and gas.

At the time, 410 men were working underground, 247 of whom escaped by various means, but most of the 163 remaining probably were overcome soon after the fire began and perished.  Only two men were actually were burned.

The immediate effect of the fire was the reversal of air currents in the shaft; the ultimate effect was great loss of life and the destruction of the main hoisting shaft, putting it temporarily out of service.  The work of rescue and fire fighting continued for eight days.

Source:
Historical Summary of Mine Disasters in the United States - Volume III


Listing of those killed in the Speculator Mine disaster.  Taken from the "Granite Mountain Memorial Plaques" in Butte, Montana.
FRANCIS H. ALLEN
NELS ANDERSON
JOVAIN BAJOVICH
PETER BARROS
HENRY BENNETTS
GEORGE W. BIGCROFT
JOHN B. BIXBY
JOHN BJORNSTROM
ALEX BORDEN
SAM M. BORDEN
JOHN J. BRADY
DANIEL BUDOVINAC
TIM J. CALLAHAN
JAMES CAVELLA
JOHN CAVELLA
ERNEST L. CHAPMAN
JOHN CHYTIL
MIKE CONROY
CHALE COVACEVICH
FRANCIS G. CURRAN
YOKO DABCOVICH
ALBERT H. DeBOER
TOM DILLON
DAN DOHERTY
PAT DOHERTY
NICK DONICH
NEIL DOUGHERTY
MANUS DUGGAN
MULAKI DURKIN
PHILIP ERAKOVICH
EMIL ERICKSON
FRED ERICKSON
PAT FEGAN
MAURICE A. FITZHARRIS
PAT FITZSIMMONS
A. W. FORS
CHARLES FOSTER
ALEX FRANK
PETER GALFI
MIKE GALLAGHER
JOHN GAMEWELLS
TOM GARRITY
JOHN J. GATELY
MATT GERGICH
GEORGE G. GORRIE
ERIK GRANDIK
MIKE GRETHAS
EMIL GUSTAFSON
TOM HARRIS
JOHN HASKINS
PETER HASTINGS
JOHN H. HENDERSON
MATTI HILLI
TOM L. HUFF
EVERETT HYTTINEN
ANTONE IVICICH
JACOB JACOBSON
GEORGE JANICICH
ALBERT JOGGILN
DANIEL JOHNSON
OTTO E. JOHNSON
THOMAS JOYCE
KRISTIAN JUNTIKKA
BARTLEY KANE
MAKI KAPATAN
PETER KELLY
DAN KENNEDY
TOYVO KOKKONEN
BEN KONECHY
CHARLES KOVACICH
SAM KOVICH
PAUL KRELICH
MIKE KUBILUS
JOHN P. LALANNE
PATRICK LAVORY
BAT LEARY
EMIL LEHTI
YOUNG LINSTEAD
MARIAN J. LIOVICH
JANI LISO
GUST LONGI
EDWARD LORRY
VICTOR LUNDGREN
JOHN WESLEY LYNCH
JOSEPH H. McADAMS
N. R. McDONALD
JOHN J. McGINNIS
JAMES McHUGH
GLEN McNEILL
NICK MAJESKY
FRED MANGELS
DAN MARTIN
TLIJA MARTINOVITCH
ALBINO MASSA
ANDREW MIKANIKOFF
JOHN MILLER
GEORGE MILLICK
JAMES D. MOORE
MARTIN MORAN
JOHN M. MORRIS
WALTER MORRIS
THEODORE MOSTOSKI
JOHN M. Murphy
LAWRENCE MURPHY
PATRICK E. MURPHY
ARTHUR H. MURRAY
MIKE MURRAY
JAMES A. NEGLEY
JOHN A. NIEMI
PETEAR NOSOVICH
JOE A. NOVACK
DAVE NUMI
STEVE OBRADO
ERIC OLING
CON O'NEILL
FRED PAINTER
WILJAM PALO
JEFF PERRY
THOMAS PETSIKOS
JIM PONDERISKIS
GUST POSHARSKY
CLAUDE POWERS
TONI PRETTI
STEVE RAMO
WILLIAM K. RAMSAY
WILLIAM REICHLE
BEN RICHARDSON
TOIVO RINTILA
KELLY ROBERTS
WILFRED ST. JACQUES
GUST SALLIS
HARRY SANGWIN
FRANK SEMICH
JOHN SEMONKEN
VICTOR L. SHAFFORD
MELCHIOR SHELDRUP
PETER SHERIDAN
PATRICK SHIELDS
NICK SIMATOVITCH
FRANK SKONDULA
JOHN SLATER
IRVING J. SMITH
THOMAS SMITH
SALLE SULEMI
ERNEST A SULLAU
THOMAS TCHOVILO
TONO TERISICH
GEORGE THOMAS
WILLIAM C. THOMAS
VERNON THOMPSON
KENNETH TOMBE
ALFRED B. TREGONNING
JOHN TROTTER
ROBERT TRUAX
MATTI VAARI
SAVO VODOVAR
RICHARD VOGEL
KRSTO VUKOVICH
CHARLES H. WELCH
CHARLES WHITE
OLIVER J. WILLIAMS
NILOR WILSON
SAM D. WINTEK
NICK XEIROS
WILLIAM YATES
MIKE YUKONOVITCH
STEVE ZJCICH



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