NO. 2  MINE - CRUSHER DESTROYED -  1926 - Staunton Macoupin County IL
contributed by Joan Miley 2003

STAUNTON STAR-TIMES, Staunton, Macoupin Co, IL, Thurs 9 Dec 1926



Monday morning at about one o'clock workmen employed about the boiler room at No. 2 mine of the Mt. Olive and Staunton Coal Co. noticed that fire had broken out in the lower part of the crusher room adjoining the mine tipple. The alarm was promptly given and the the Livingston and Staunton fire department were appealed to for assistance. In the meantime the employees played a stream of water upon the blaze, but were unable to make much headway. The Staunton apparatus made record run to the scene and soon had a stream of water playing on the fire with telling effect. The local boys were assisted in their work by the members of the Livingston Fire Department and both did excellent work.

The blaze started under the crusher and its origin is not known. Officials of the company state that all switches to the motors used in the crusher had been pulled at least half an hour before the fire was discovered and believe that the fire may have been due to spontaneous combustion, as there is always more or less dust and moisture about the bottom of the crusher. The flames for a time appeared very threatening and parts of the wooden supports of the tipple were burned. Due to the efficient work of the fire departments, however, the tipple was saved and the mine was in operation as usual Tuesday, although it was impossible to supply crushed coal and will be impossible to do so until the new equipment, which has been ordered, can be installed. Several large motors, parts of the crushing machinery and a large conveyer belt constitute the largest items of loss and it is expected that it will cost about $6,000 to repair the damage caused.

Mr. Robert Nixon, superintendent at the mine, is loud in his praise of the excellent work done by the Staunton fire engine. The coal company's nearby pond furnished a water supply and Staunton's powerful pumper soon had several streams playing on the blaze, resulting in materially reducing the possible damage. The seven hundred or more men employed at this shaft also have reason to be thankful for the fact that Staunton has this equipment because had it not been for the fact that this engine was instantly available, it is quite likely that the tipple would have been seriously damaged, resulting in a several weeks' shut-down until repair could be made. As it was the men did not lose any time as the mine would have been idle on Monday anyway.

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