May 7, 1916

Black Hand Is Believed Responsible for Damage Estimated at $3,000.

Residents for three blocks around were aroused by two explosions which completely wrecked a house at 617 Charlotte street, injured three persons and caused damage estimated at close to $3,000 shortly before midnight last night.

The explosions occurred one after the other in rapid succession. As the first was heard the building was lifted up into the air and collapsed, a total wreck. Not a rafter of it remained in place. The houses adjoining it on both sides were badly damaged.

Fortunately the occupant of the wrecked structure, Mrs. Lena Bavoni, was absent at the time. The houses on both sides, however, were occupied and it was those occupants who suffered injuries. Daisy Campbell, who occupied a room on the second floor of No. 619, was hurled from her bed and out of a window to the ground. Sarah Chapman, who occupied a room on the first floor of the same house, was thrown from her bed to the floor. the former sustained a broken collarbone and the latter a sprained shoulder.

Lee Gerdo, occupant of No. 615, was the most severely injured. His head and left leg were badly cut by flying glass, and his right foot crushed. The house at No. 617 was owned by V. Maturo, a saloonkeeper at Independence and Grand avenues.

The windows of practically every house in the block were shattered by the force of the explosions. No one was able last night to determine definitely the cause. Alex Henderson, assistant fire chief, thought they might have been caused by gasoline. The neighborhood appears to consider it the work of a black hand organization.

Following the explosions fires broke out among the ruins and quickly spread to both damaged houses adjoining. The fire, however, was quickly subdued by the fire department.