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Fireworks Plant Explosion


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#1 hankjr

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 04:29 PM

Back in early '50's there was a Wilfong Fireworks Plant explosion on Skyline Dr. just North of Jacksboro Highway. It emitted a giant mushroom cloud and several thought we were under atomic bomb attack by the Soviets. One grocery store owner on Northside's Azle Ave., thinking Carswell AFB was under attack, herded customers into his walk in cooler. Several adjacent homes to fireworks plant suffered damage and, I believe, a fatality. Anyone remember the event?


#2 Giraffe

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 05:17 PM

QUOTE (hankjr @ Feb 7 2009, 04:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Back in early '50's there was a Wilfong Fireworks Plant explosion on Skyline Dr. just North of Jacksboro Highway. It emitted a giant mushroom cloud and several thought we were under atomic bomb attack by the Soviets. One grocery store owner on Northside's Azle Ave., thinking Carswell AFB was under attack, herded customers into his walk in cooler. Several adjacent homes to fireworks plant suffered damage and, I believe, a fatality. Anyone remember the event?



Elston Brooks wrote about this event in his book, _Don't Dry-Clean My Blackjack_. He was a reporter/columnist for the _Fort Worth Star-Telegram_ for many years. He said that the name of the hill the factory was sitting on was called "Firecracker Hill." While the explosion demolished the building and damaged homes (laundry hanging out to dry was filled with splinters), nobody was killed. One of the employees was quoted as saying something like, "We're trained to leave immediately whenever we smell smoke."

In particular, I remember Brooks' line about the fact that the fireworks factory was located close to Carswell, and this was during the heat of the Cold War. When the explosion occurred, everyone saw that mushroom cloud and just _knew_ that the city had been hit with an atomic bomb. "So what did they do? They FLOORBOARDED their cars over there for a closer look!"



#3 headlinesman

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 07:31 PM

I remember this very well. I was probably between 5 and 7 years old and my brother told me it was an atomic bomb. You could see the mushroom cloud from our back yard. I remember a parent of the woman who lived next door worked at the firework plant and the neighbor was beside herself. This event, as well as a B-29 hitting a tree in our back yard and crashing on Amon Carter's Shady Oak Farm are two of the things that, for some reason, are indelible in my memory.

#4 Buck

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 06:06 PM

June 1953 per newsclips -- isn;t that Trout fireworks now?

#5 John Greiner

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 06:30 AM

I was a younster when this happened,living in the Arlington heights section of
Ft Worth(3902 Byers street). I remember my dad driving to the site and us walking around in the fields
South of the building and picking up items that had been thrown out by the explosion.
Only the slab was left. I believe I heard that it was triggered by a working opening
a case of fireworks with a hammer. The employees had run out and jumped into ditches
and I don't think any were hurt.




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