Pursglove No. 15 Coal Mine Disaster 1943

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 8 Jan 1943 [unknown]
Location: Pursglove, Monongalia County, West Virginiamap
Surnames/tags: Mining_Disasters West Virginia Disasters
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Disasters | Mining Disasters | United States Mining Disasters |Pursglove No. 15 Mine Disaster


History and Circumstances

Date: 8 Jan 1943
Location: Pursglove, West Virginia
Victims: 13 deaths
Cause: Fire of unknown origin (ruling by the coroner's jury)


Name Sourced Bio Connected Category
Pavo Pozega Sources added age 60, trackman No Mine category, no template
James Tanner, scraper
Earl Frank "Early" McCabe, cutter
Rene Leroy, section boss
Frank Robinette, main line motoman
Ralph Riffle, loading machine operator
Guy Quinn age 38, night foreman;
Died in rescue attempt
Ralph Tresler, face man
Merle Izenhart, motorman
John Lagka, timberman
James Carter, brakeman
Robert Kiser, greaser
Charles Hart, shot fire

Rescue Effort and Rescuers

  • Guy Quinn, 38, was a night foreman who perished trying to open the ventilating doors to save his coworkers. [1]

Results and Findings

As reported by The Morning Herald, of Uniontown, Pennsylvania on February 5, 1943, page 1, "A coroner's jury reported today that the death of 12 men in a fire at Pursglove No. 15 mine last January 8 had been 'caused by a fire from an unknown origin.' Thirteen men succumbed in the disaster, the body of one, Frank Robinette, a mine motorman, has not yet been recovered." [2]The State Mines Chief, Jesse Redyard, made recommendations based on the findings:

  1. Foremen should be familiar with the ventilation system of the work area
  2. Adequate firefighting equipment should be available. [2]


  1. "Death Toll in Mine 13,The Evening Leader, (Staunton, Virginia) 9 Jan 1943, p. 1, col. 4. Digital images. (; accessed 2 Jan 2020). Historical newspapers. clipping.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Pursglove Mine Fire Origin Undetermined," The Morning Herald, (Uniontown, Pennsylvania), 5 Feb 1943, p. 1, col. 1. Digital images. (www.; accessed 18 Jan 2020). Historical newspapers. link.

See also:

  • "12 Trapped by Mine Fire; Feared Dead," The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, West Virginia) 9 Jan 1943. Print.
  • Archived page from
  • "Trapped Men in Mine Fire Thought Lost," The News-Leader, (Staunton, Virginia), 9 Jan 1943, p. 1. col. 8. Digital images. (; accessed 2 Jan 2020), Historical newspapers. clipping.



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