Looking back: Ammonia tank explodes on two people and Pocatello youth 'detained at gunpoint' after breaking into stranger's home - East Idaho News
Looking Back

Looking back: Ammonia tank explodes on two people and Pocatello youth ‘detained at gunpoint’ after breaking into stranger’s home

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IDAHO FALLS — EastIdahoNews.com is looking back at what life was like during the week of April 8 to April 14 in east Idaho history.


POCATELLO — Two people were involved in an explosion that happened at the Killian Meat Market in Pocatello, the Blackfoot Idaho Republican reported on April 14, 1916.

Glen Killian and a young plumber named Peterson were moving an ammonia tank into a new building when it suddenly exploded. Both men were knocked down and burned “quite badly.”

“Mr. Killian narrowly escaped being suffocate by the gas, but finally staggered out of the rear of the building,” the paper mentioned. “Peterson fell at the concussion and managed to crawl out of the building without being very much injured.”

Killian was taken to the hospital in Pocatello.


JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson County gasoline ration panel held a hearing for four boys on the theft and use of gasoline coupons, The Rigby Star reported on April 13, 1944.

The boys who were being questioned ranged from age 14 to 23 years old. One of them admitted to taking the coupons from a car and two admitted to using the coupons which were given to them. The younger boy “had no part in taking or using the coupons it was brought out.”

“The gasoline ration books of the boys who used the coupons were revoked and action against a filling station that accepted one of the stolen coupons is pending,” the article explains. “The station operator who refused to accept one of the coupons was commended by the panel.”


ROBERTS — A couple drowned after their car left the highway about two miles north of Roberts, The Rigby Star reported on April 9, 1953.

Mr. and Mrs. Earl R. Tyler, 62 and 46 years old, of Atomic City, were the two involved in the accident.

“Evidence of the accident (was) reported when a passerby noted the wheels of the overturned car rising above the water in the small slough, which was about 20 by 40 feet and about six-feet deep,” the paper wrote.

The car’s tracks revealed it had traveled at least 300 feet off the shoulder of the road before tumbling over upside down on the west side of the highway. The car was not discovered until around 8 a.m. but it’s believed the accident happened around 1 a.m.

“Ice had formed around the protruding wheels of the car indicating that it had been under water for several hours,” The Rigby Star explained.

It’s not clear exactly why the car left the road, but officers mentioned the driver “may have dozed.”

The husband was said to have been a retired railroad man and had been employed at the Atomic Plant at Arco. He had also operated a hotel or motor court there.


POCATELLO — A Pocatello youth was “detained at gunpoint” by the owner of a house he broke into, the Idaho State Journal reported on April 8, 1977.

The 17-year-old boy was charged with loitering and prowling and a curfew violation. The boy allegedly broke into the back door of the house where the “owner met him with a gun.”

“The youth was intoxicated and unable to explain why he entered the house, except to say he thought it was a friend’s house,” officers reported.