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Mail Tribune 100

Jan. 4, 1915

An explosion of a gasoline tank he was soldering in the shop of the Medford Sheet & Iron works Saturday afternoon more or less wrecked the shop and endangered the lives of H.G. Worthington, proprietor of the shop, and Mose Barkdull, a friend standing by. Worthington was scarred about the hands, hair and face, and Barkdull stunned by the concussion. Worthington was hurled across the room.

The explosion was caused by the ignition of the gasoline fumes in the tank, which had been drained. The top was blown off with sufficient force to rend a jagged hole in the ceiling. Had the direction of the explosion been outward, both men would have been killed.

The force of the explosion wrecked the windows fore and aft of the shop. Not a piece of glass as big as a hand remained in the front, but the front door, which was open, was unbroken. The fire department was called out and extinguished the blazing tank. A large crowd gathered after the explosion.

Mr. Worthington showed great presence of mind. Though painfully burned, bruised and nearly blind from the flames, he insisted on returning to roll out a second large tank brought in for repair, which would undoubtedly have exploded had the building caught fire.

The building is owned by Charles Palm.

Changes were made this morning in county offices, Chauncey Florey assuming the duties of the recorder's office and Fred L. Colvig assuming control of the treasurer's office, Jas. M. Cronemiller retiring. John A. Perl will take charge of the coroner's office. Wednesday, Frank H. Madden will be sworn in as county commissioner, Joe Smith retiring. The switch was unaccompanied by any ceremony.