The Day Malton Blew Up
Published February 4, 2016 at 1:04 am
On October 25, 1969, a faulty pipe exploded in a gas line beneath the junction of Airport and Derry Roads in Malton, causing a huge fire at the Four Corners.
One person, Jean Perigo, a long-time Malton resident, was killed in the explosion. A widow aged 75, she was alone when her house was engulfed in flames. About 20 other people were injured in the explosion.
Nine stores and several houses and cars were destroyed in the fire.
The fire covered an area of the Four Corners of Malton west of Airport Road and north and south of Derry Road. The Variety Store and Orenda Restaurant were located on the north side of Derry Road, west of the Four Corners. There were apartments above the stores.
Firefighters, unable to get close to the source of the inferno, poured water on the adjacent buildings in order to contain the flames.
According to an inspector from the Fire Marshall’s office, the natural gas pipeline which exploded was “a dead-end trunk” and should not have had gas in it. It had been built 12 years before and then capped with a valve.
The business section of Malton at the Four Corners was completely destroyed.
As a result of the fire, plans were made to reconstruct the corner of Airport and Derry Roads. They called for it to be widened from four to six lanes each.
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