Item Description

This is another item listed by Mid-American Heritage Preservation Foundation, Inc. (MAHP), a Non for Profit 501(c)3 Organzation. We raise funds through eBay sales of items from our local history preservation efforts, with this we can buy materials needed for future presevation projects.  This is an original production by our company, and the auction is for a new, unused DVD created here in our offices.




You are bidding on Mid-American Heritage Preservation Foundation Inc.'s:

This Old Town 50 Year Commemorative DVD:  The Standard Oil Co. Fire of 1955 Collection

All three volumes (available individually on VHS through eBay on sellers other auctions) of the tragedy in Whiting, Indiana... On Saturday morning of August 27, 1955, at 6:15 a.m., without warning, several explosions tore apart Fluid Hydroformer Unit 700. According to an article that appeared in Industrial Fire World, "No single error or breakdown destroyed FHU-700. Rather, as in most industrial accidents, it was a specific sequence of events, one after another, that lead inexorably to the final outcome." Debris rained down from the sky damaging several homes in the process, and then the fires began. Flames consumed the refinery's storage tanks acre by acre for the next two days. When the fire was finally put out on September 4, 1955 fifty nine tanks have been completely destroyed, along with 1 1/4 million barrels of crude and refined products, not to mention the damage to civilian homes and refinery structures. Although this inferno shook Whiting and the smoke could be seen as far as Chicago the devastation only took the life of one individual. 3-year-old Richard Plewniak was killed in his sleep as a 10-foot steel pipe torpedoed through the roof of his home. 600 homes were evacuated to avoid any further casualties. Frank A. Horbleck, Standard Oil Refinery Chief, had plenty of resources at his disposal. Firemen from neighboring cities including Whiting, Hammond, East Chicago, and Chicago sent men and equipment to help quench the flames consuming the refinery. Also, 300 of the refinery's employees were trained as firefighters, and another 300 who had enough training to work as back up firefighters. The Standard Oil fire brigade was comprised of eleven fire marshals, seven fire trucks, 44 hose carts and 80,000 feet of fire hose 2 1/2 inches thick. As the days went by, the firefighters realized that there task was to contain rather than extinguish this fire bomb, and they began to create sand barricades around the refinery. When the fire was finally squelched eight days later, the inferno left a $30 million debt, declaring it a National Disaster, requiring the National Guard to assist with the chaos. A year later Standard Oil was back to business rebuilding where ever necessary and operating near 100 percent crude capacity.This is the DVD ultimate Collection, Each of these volumes was created from salvaged films from donations or salvage projects. 

*****Volume 1, a 1956 PUBLIC DOMAIN Saftey film,and an overview of the 1955 Standard Oil Refinery Fire at Whiting,Indiana.  This is an in depth view of this great fire that knocked everybody out of bed,and caused 2 deaths,this is a report using stock footage of the fire,and interviews with company officials by Hugh Hill a local news reporter.  22 mins long.

Next, Standard Oil Fire-********Vol. 2, is an overview of the 1955 Standard Oil Refinery Fire at Whiting,Indiana was created from actual home movies of local residents standing by watching the scene unfold. This is an in depth view of this great fire that knocked everybody out of bed, and caused 2 deaths.  56 minutes.

********Standard Oil Fire-Vol. 3, is a walking tour, and the aftermath of the 1955 Standard Oil Refinery Fire at Whiting, Indiana...created from actual home movies of local residents surveying the damage caused by this great fire. See 119th Street and other well known spots in Whiting as it was in 1955, as folks take home movies of the aftermath. This, STANDARD OIL FIRE - VOL. 3, is more footage of the tragedy that was NOT INCLUDED in VOL. 1 OR VOL. 2.  This DVD is 30 mins of dramatic footage.*******You also recieve bonus footage...****

1940's Standard Oil Fire, 1940's Galvan Auto Fire, 1945 Phil Smidt Fire, 1984 Standard Oil Fire


This DVD is marking the 50 Year anniversary of the tragedy that shook the town...a full TWO HOURS of history.  A must have for Whiting people who lived thru this event,ALL RIGHTS RESERVED by MAHP, buyer must include $3 for shipping, click on sellers other auctions, and save on shipping by combining items, good luck......


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