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Mine Disasters in
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Victor American Fuel Company
Victor American No. 3 Mine Fire

Delagua, Colorado
November 8, 1910
No. Killed - 79



Rescuer Death

A member of the rescue crew who gave his breathing apparatus to one of the four men found behind a barricade stayed behind to wait for the party's return.  He was later found overcome in another part of the mine and died the next morning.


(From Federal Geological Survey report by J. C. Roberts, 1910, and State inspector’s report, 1910, pp. 154-160)

At about 1 p.m. a fire occurred on the inby side of a door in a crosscut between a main entry and aircourse.

At 2 p.m. when the fire was discovered all the officials went into the mine to fight the fire and a motor was sent outside to get hose.  At 2:30 p.m., before it could get back an explosion occurred.  About 121 men were in the mine: of these 28 came out through the connecting No. 2 mine, 4 were rescued alive from behind a canvas barricade by helmet men, and 14 men who also had bratticed themselves came out the following day.  Three men on the outside at the pit mouth were killed by flying rocks and timbers.

A member of the rescue crew who gave his breathing apparatus to one of the four men found behind the barricade stayed behind to wait for the party's return.  He was later found overcome in another part of the mine and died the next morning.

The area where the fire occurred was dry and dusty, and it was thought that collapse of the burning door and supports stirred up a cloud of dust, aided by the dust raised by the motor going out.

The fire ignited the dust cloud, and the explosion was propagated to the mouth of the slope with great violence.  The explosion spread through several entries but was limited by wet areas.

The fire was probably started by a discarded wick from the open lights.  The crosscut was used as a lunch and waiting room.  Gas had not been reported in the mine.



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