December 15, 1926 Central News
Perkasie Historical Society Archives
The Neff – Affelbaum building was located at 609 West Chestnut Street. Today this is the grassy area to the left of the current Quakertown National Bank Branch. The building was once home to Perkasie newspaper, The Central News. Neff Ice Cream Store was located on the first floor and there were two apartments on the second floor.
On that December morning in 1926 an explosion destroyed the building and buried Moyer and Keller Dairy milkman, Leon Mauer under tons of debris. Local residents and fireman were able to dig Mr., Maurer from the rubble. He was transported to Grandview hospital where he later died.
Most of the windows on the North side the Perkasie Trust Building (now QNB) were blown out by the explosion. The floor of the building was littered by broken glass. The force of the explosion sent pieces of glass and mortar across the street shattering the windows at Thompson’s Hardware Store. The Central News described the shattering of the large plate glass windows, “ ... as though a gatling gun had been trained upon them.”
A mother and her infant child had to be rescued by ladder from the back apartment. The family in the front apartment luckily was not home at the time of the explosion.
There was much speculation as to the cause of the explosion. It could have been a natural gas explosion or an explosion of ammonia or carbonizer tanks. The building was beyond repair and was demolished.
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