Pugh, Clarence Sylvester 1895-1939

PUGH Clarence Sylvester (1895 – 1939)

Sep. 24, 1895
Hancock County
West Virginia, USA


Jun. 7, 1939
East Liverpool
Columbiana County
Ohio, USA


East Liverpool Review, East Liverpool, Columbiana Co., OH, Wednesday, 07 Jun 1939, pg. 1.

Motor’s Spark Ignites Fumes From Naphtha

Clarence Pugh, 43, Burned Fatally; Sister Injured In Cleaning Accident

A terrific blast and flames from cleaning fluid today had caused the death of a Chester man, serious burns to his sister, shock to their mother and the demolition of the first floor of their two – story frame house on 515 Louisiana ave., Chester. Clarence Pugh, 43, died this morning at 7:30 in City hospital, exactly 12 hours after the blast, believed to have been caused when a spark from a vacuum cleaner ignited naphtha cleaning fluid. He suffered severe burns about the head, face and back. His sister, Mabel Pugh, 41, was reported in fair condition in City hospital with severe burns about the legs, back and body, and their mother, Mrs. Belle Pugh, 73, is recovering at the home of a neighbor, Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Dungan of 519 Louisiana ave., Chester. Both the brothers and sister lived with their mother.

Cleaning Fluid Fumes Spread

Fumes from a cleaning fluid used several hours before on the rug are believed to have penetrated the entire home making it a large combustion chamber which was ignited by a spark from the rotor and brush of the vacuum sweeper, which Miss Pugh was using in the living room. Her brother was nearby. The blast and flames which followed made a shambles of the lower floor of the home and fired the clothing of both the brother and sister, who were able to extinguish the flames by rolling on the lawn. Mrs. Pugh, sitting on the back porch at the time of the explosion at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, was virtually uninjured. The two burned persons, with their clothes almost seared from their bodies, were removed to City hospital. The injured were assisted by neighbors and others attracted by the sudden roar, heard throughout Chester. Every window was blown from the residence. Flames following the explosion were extinguished quickly by the Chester volunteer fire department.

Damage Estimated At $2,500

Damage estimated at $2,500 was caused to the home, which is owned by Robert Campbell of Butler, Pa. It was covered by insurance. Fumes are believed to have gone down registers leading to the furnace, since it literally was blown to pieces. The accident occurred as members of the family were completing house cleaning, which they started almost a week ago. Mr. Pugh and his brother, Allen Pugh, of near Weirton, operated a small brick and tile plant near New Cumberland. The body was removed to the Stewart funeral home at Hookstown. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. Besides his mother, sister and brother, Mr. Pugh leaves one other brother, Arthur, of near Chester.

*East Liverpool Review, East Liverpool, Columbiana Co., OH, Thursday, 08 Jun 1939, pg. 12

Rites Set For Victim Of Blast In Chester

Miss Mabel Pugh remained unimproved in City Hospital today, suffering burns of the naphtha gas explosion Tuesday night which fatally burned her brother, Clarence Pugh, 43, and wrecked their home on Louisiana ave., Chester. Services for Mr. Pugh will be held Friday afternoon at 2 in the home of C. R. Dungan of 519 Louisana ave., Chester, in charge of Rev. Calvin T. Weimer of the Chester Presbyterian church, assisted by Rev. W. T. McKee, former pastor. Burial will be in Locust Hill cemetery. Friends may call at the Dungan home.

Contributed by George Allison