united states mine rescue association Mine Disasters in the United States
Mineral Mining and Railroad Company Luke Fidler Mine Fire
October 8, 1894
No. Killed – 5
A Fire at Shamokin Places Many Live in Jeopardy
Fort Wayne News, Indiana
October 9, 1894
Shamokin, Pa., Oct. 9. -- While carpenters were at work repairing the tumber in the Luke Fidler shaft last night, a miner's lamp on the head of Irvin Buffington ignited the wood and a fierce fire ensued.
The carpenters gave an alarm, and seventy miners commenced a race for life, as the mine was filling with smoke. Through a shaft, now in course of construction, they were hoisted to the surface in an iron bucket, a great crowd cheering as the men reached the mouth of the pit.
During the rescue the flames came up the air course and burned the lift house, and the fire department was then called into service. Superintendent Morris Williams and Mine Inspector Edward Brennan heroically entered the burning mine to seek for lost or exhausted men. At 5 o'clock this morning, Irvin Buffington was found dead.
It is known for a certainty that George Brown, a well-known local politician; John Gierse, a laborer; Anthony Bobert, a driver boy, and Michael Buzofski, a laborer, are still in the mine. Efforts are being made to reach them, without, however, much hope of success. It is the fiercest mine fire known in the region.
The colliery is operated by the Mineral Mining and Railroad Company, and gave employment to over 800 men and boys.