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Mine Disasters in
the United States


Lincoln Mine Fire

Virginia, Saint Louis County, Minnesota
August 30, 1917
No. Killed 0


Successful Rescue

Thanks to the heroism of Frank Mattson, two miners who were overcome by smoke in the Lincoln mine fire at Virginia, Minnesota were rescued after an undisclosed period.  Mattson was lowered into the mine without a mask where he found Oscar Pakkala and Joe Reinshe.  Mattson found the victims near the flames and carried both of them to the surface.  All three were revived by a pulmotor.


Miner Rescues Two from Burning Mine
The Grand Forks Herald, Grand Forks, North Dakota
August 31, 1917

Virginia, Minn., Aug. 30. - Frank Mattson today became a self-made hero when he was lowered down into a burning shaft of the Lincoln mine and without mask and single handed rescued two of his fellow miners, Oscar Pakkala and Joe Reinshe, who had been overcome by the smoke.  Mattson found the victims near the flames and carried both of them to the surface.  All three were revived by a pulmotor.  Mattson's record will go down in the history of mining industry as the greatest hero of the Mesaba mine.

The fire broke out in the exits of Lincoln mine and had trapped 200 miners.  All escaped but the two rescued by Mattson.  The mine has now been successfully blocked and closed and as water cannot be obtained, the operators plan to smother the flames in the timber workings.



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