|Early 1920's Ambulance.|
Image from Library of Congress
As soon as the news of the explosion reached the city authorities, Chief Boifeuillet sent the ambulance to the scene. Mayor Smith tendered Superintendent Epperson the use of the police force to keep the crowds of curious people out of the way, the ambulance and patrol wagon, borrowing a driver from the fire department for it, carrying the wounded to the hospital, and also the fire department wagons for the same purpose. In this way there was no delay in conveying the wounded men to the hospital. The ambulance purchased by the city has paid for itself dozens of times, it is claimed, and the fact that it is given by the city to hospital use is greatly appreciated by the general public.
Coroner Davis arrived on the scene soon after he was notified, and he summoned a separate jury for each of the three dead men. The bodies had been taken to Wood's undertaking parlors, and the inquests were held there.
The evidence developed in the cases was identical. It threw no light on the cause of the accident, and fixed no responsibility, the verdict being: "We, the jury, find that the deceased came to their death from the explosion of an engine boiler. The cause of the explosion we cannot ascertain." [Macon Telegraph (Georgia), 3 January 1902, pg. 1 -- Viewed online at GenealogyBank.]
Next up: "Theories Advanced" and "Condition of the Boiler."