Burnett No. 5 Mine Disaster 1918

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 28 Aug 1918
Location: Burnett, Pierce, Washingtonmap
Surnames/tags: Mining_Disasters Washington Disasters
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Disasters | Mining Disasters | United States Mining Disasters | Burnett No. 5 Mine Disaster 1918

Contact: United States Mining Disasters


History and Circumstances

  • Date: 28 Aug 1918
  • Location: Burnett, Washington
  • Victims: 12 deaths, 3 injuries
  • Cause: Explosion

Mine History

The mine in Burnett, Washington employed anywhere from 100-200 people in the late nineteenth century.[1] At their peak, 300 people worked in their coal mine.[2] It was owned by the South Prairie Coal Company.[3][4] 70 miners perished over the forty-seven year period that the mine was in operation.[2] Their mines were seen as "some of the deadliest mines in the state."[2] The Burnett mines were closed for good in 1927, after producing 3.6 million tons of coal.[2]

Mine Disaster Circumstances

Results and Findings

Twelve men died, three more were injured, and twenty-four children were made fatherless by the disaster.[5]

In Memoriam

See the category for a list of the men that died, or were injured, in the explosion.

Men That Died

Name Sourced Bio Connected Category
Gus Fleisher, 36, married, 3 children
Thomas "Tom" Flemming/Johnson, 32, fire boss, single
Reese Jenkins, 23, single
William Johnson, 42, married, 11 children
Charles Makkela, 37, married, 2 children
Otto Makkela, 32, married, 2 children
George Marich, 28, single
Dan Reese, 52, married, 2 children
Jacob Sippoia, 43, married, 2 children
Mike Sladoje, 29, single
Elic Tait, 36, married 2 children
Claudius Tomaczat, 43, single

Men That Were Injured

  1. Martin McDonough, 33, married, 2 children
  2. John Sertich, 29, unmarried
  3. Steve Vuryn, 26, unmarried


  1. "Frightful Explosion in Washington Mine Snuffs Out Lives", Reno, Nevada, Reno Evening Gazette, 8 December 1904
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Webmaster. "Burnett: Ghost Towns of Washington" (, as viewed 5 February 2020. See the website for pictures of the overgrown buildings in 2013 as well as the mine in 1912.
  3. News staff. "Sixteen Lives Snuffed Out In Big Explosion: Four Miners Entombed." The Seattle Star, Seattle, Washington, 8 December 1904, p. 1, col. 8.
  4. News staff. "Mine Horror at Burnett." The Evening Statesman, Walla Walla, Washington, 8 December 1904, p. 1, cols 1-2.
  5. Webmaster. "Black Diamond History" (, as viewed 5 February 2020.



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