1926 Explosion Claims Life of Calhoun Man

(05/04/2001)

Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 10/28/1926.

Roma Hathaway, aged 25, of Phillips Run, died at the Camden-Clarke hospital in Parkersburg Wednesday morning from burns received in a gas explosion at his rooming house in Petroleum, where he was working for W.H. Bickel on a drilling well.

The horrible accident occurred Tuesday night about 10:45.  Hathaway with Frank McCoy, of Spencer, were going on the midnight tower and had just been awakened.  The latter smelled the fumes of escaping gas from defective plumbing and had just called to young Hathaway not to light a match when the explosion came.  Hathaway was enveloped in the flames from head to foot and the burns covered his entire body with the exception of a small area on his breast.  He was rushed to Parkersburg hospital but never had a chance for recovery.

McCoy was seriously burned in his heroic efforts to drag Hathaway from the flames but chances for his recovery are said to be good at the hospital where he is now resting.

W.H. Bickel narrowly escaped being in the room when the explosion came, having just gone to use the long distance telephone.

The victim of the tragic accident was a young man of the best character and a pall of gloom was thrown over his home community when the news was telephoned here.  He had been employed by Mr. Bickel for several years and was one of his most trusted and faithful employees.

The deceased was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Hathaway, of Philipps Run.  His wife, who was formerly Miss Dorfetta Stump, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Stump, of the same community, and an infant child survive.

His remains will be brought to his home and funeral services will be held at the Mt. Zion Church Friday Morning at 10:30.


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