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Douglas County Past: Boy survives Billings Park cave-in; heating turpentine on stove causes flash fire

From the Sept. 25, 1967 Telegram: "A Superior boy who was trapped and buried alive under sand from a cave-in was released Monday from Superior Memorial Hospital, less than 24 hours after the incident in which rescuers dug the boy out by using their hands."

Douglas County Past graphic
Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune
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Sept. 24, 1947

Counterfeiter gets prison term

Miller Mereno, 31, of 314 Tower avenue, was back in Douglas County jail Wednesday, awaiting transfer to a federal penitentiary to serve a three-year term for counterfeiting.

Listen: How Superior became home to Wisconsin's first and last Carnegie libraries

Mereno appeared before Federal Judge Patrick T. Stone late Tuesday, charged with making counterfeit half-dollars in his home.

The counterfeiters equipment was described as very crude, having consisted of a piece of pipe, which apparently was used to punch out the bogus 50-cent pieces, a crushed coffee can, a board and some soldering materials.

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Mereno was arrested in Superior several weeks ago when he gave the coins to his small daughter and sent her to a store to make purchases.

Sept. 25, 1947

Juveniles face court for fire

Two Superior juveniles were to face Judge A. Walter Dahl in juvenile court Thursday afternoon on delinquency charges following their apprehension for burning rubbish in a doorway at a rear of the city hall.

The blaze was put out by Detective George Borg with a fire extinguisher, and it was not necessary to call the fire department.

Officers said the two boys, aged 10 and 11, had previously started a fire in a vacant house.

092322.N.ST.Past.Fire.jpg
The interior of the kitchen of the Douglas Everson residence, 1322 Fisher Avenue, is shown following the charring of the entire structure by a flash fire Wednesday morning causing damage of $3,500. Hans Dohls, assistant fire chief on the left and Fire Chief Olaf Sorenson on the right are examining the destruction caused by the fire. Sept. 25, 1947 Telegram
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram

This is what turpentine on stove did

The interior of the kitchen of the Douglas Everson residence, 1322 Fisher Avenue, is shown following the charring of the entire structure by a flash fire Wednesday morning causing damage of $3,500. Hans Dohls, assistant fire chief on the left and Fire Chief Olaf Sorenson on the right are examining the destruction caused by the fire.

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Seven persons were in the building at the time a small container of turpentine and mineral oil being heated on a kitchen stove ignited and swept through the building. The spread of the flames was so rapid that the occupants barely escaped with their lives, the Everson family losing all their possessions except three birds in cages.

In addition, composition brick siding of the home of Lyle Peterson, 1324 Fisher Avenue, over 10 feet away was badly burned for an area 10 feet square. Fire Chief Sorenson said the force behind the flames was so great that they poured out a kitchen window like a blow torch striking the side of the Peterson home. There wasn’t an article or inch of the Everson inside home that wasn’t scorched, the chief said.

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Police commended for ‘fine’ treatment in accident case

On September 3, Irving S. Meinrath, 55, Kansas City, was driving on East Second Street about 3:45 p.m. when as he neared 24th Avenue East, a boy who was walking along the side of the road walked into the side of his car and received a head injury. The lad was Dennis Markon, 6-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Markon, 2407 East Third Street.

A squad car was called to the scene and Patrolman Arthur DeBrock was on duty at the time. DeBrock said he investigated the accident, made out the report, got the boy to the hospital, and aided Meinrath in getting everything straightened out satisfactorily. The boy was released from the hospital the next day.

Meinrath wrote letters recently to both Police Chief A.E. Buchanan and DeBrock, in expression of appreciation for the police treatment while in the city.

Sept. 25, 1967

Youth rescued from cave-in here

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A Superior boy who was trapped and buried alive under sand from a cave-in was released Monday from Superior Memorial Hospital, less than 24 hours after the incident in which rescuers dug the boy out by using their hands.

Roger Tyson, 11, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tyson, 1910 N. 17th ST., was trapped under sand in Billings Park where he was tunneling for a cave when it collapsed and buried him.

Roger, along with Tim Welch, 9, of 1702 Banks Ave., were digging the tunnel about 10 feet up the cliff at the end of St. Alban’s Road. After the tunnel collapsed the Welch boy ran for help.

When police arrived at the scene Steve Lillo, 17, of 21 A Bayview Courts, was already at the scene digging with his hands. Lillo was walking in the area at the time and was apparently summoned to the scene by cries for help.

Squadman Dennis Brown, on the force for over four years, and a first aid instructor in the Twin Ports, and Patrolman James Homich, took over the digging with their hands.

Officer Brown went into the clearing and found the boy in a crouched position with his head between his knees. The boy was unconscious. Sand was cleared from around the boy’s head and Officer Brown cleared the boy’s mouth of sand and saliva and started mouth to mouth resuscitation. Artificial respiration was then given to the lad after he was removed from the trap by the ambulance crews. At the scene the boy was worked on for over 25 minutes, during which time his breathing stopped three times.

With the assistance of the fire department the boy was brought to the top of the hill in a rescue basket and was taken to the hospital.

092322.N.ST.Past.Bridgeview.jpg
Betty Mix, day manager, Bridgeview Motor Inn, is shown in one of the units featured by the new motel. Containing both bath and shower, the oak paneled units are all furnished with television sets and complete wall-to-wall carpeting. Burt Butrym, Duluth, is owner and operator of the enterprise. Sept. 26, 1967 Telegram.
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram

Sept 26, 1967

New motel opens

The Bridgeview Motor Inn, Superior’s newest motel, officially opened for business Monday afternoon. The 41-unit complex will feature, along with regular facilities, automatic individual room heating, separate vanities, adjoining room units and a bridal suite. A continental breakfast will also be featured daily. Constructed by Pavola Construction Co., Duluth, the motel is located near the terminus of the Superior-Duluth high bridge at the Hammond Avenue entrance to Superior.

092322.N.ST.Past.Football.jpg
Superior State Coach Ted Whereatt “takes a ride” on the charging sled as two Yellowjacket tackle veterans, Scott Soper, Superior, in front, and Bob Ebli, Ironwood, hit the conditioning machine. The “sled” was brought to Superior State by the New York football Giants during their training at the college, and was left by them for the use of the college squad. The ‘Jackets open their season Friday at Gates field against Duluth State. Sept. 25, 1947 Telegram
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram
092322.N.ST.Past.Plane.jpg
Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard station, Park Point, are shown here in their surfboat as they towed a damaged Aeronca Champion plane to shore near Cargill elevator K. Jim Krane, Park Point, pilot of the ship, had left the dock, preparing to take off, when a sudden gust of wind overturned the light craft. He was rescued immediately by a flier of Sportsmen’s Airways who was nearby when the accident occurred. Plane damage was slight. Sept. 25, 1947 Telegram
Superior Public Library / Superior Telegram

Articles and pictures courtesy of retired librarian Judy Aunet with Superior Public Library.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
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