San Francisco Call, July 26, 1895
Tom Lane Is in Town Buying Big Pumps to Lift the Water Out.
THE FIRE CAUSED BY A FUSE. He Says That the Great Gold Producer's Wealth Is Not Half Developed Yet. Tom Lane, the plucky young superintendent of the Utica mine, who at the risk of his life went down in the shafts and brought up the last miners in the burning mine, arrived here yesterday morning. Mr. Lane is a young man of some 26 years, and for his age has probably more responsibility than any man in a like position in that section of the country.
His father is one of the owners and general manager of Hayward & Lane's immense interests. Mr. Lane s business in town is to purchase and ship down to Angels Camp some big pumps to hasten the work of getting the water out of the Utica. "There are about 40,000,000 gallons of water in the mine," he said. "How long it will take to get it all out I cannot say just yet, but everything will be done to hurry it up and get the men at work again. We have at the mine a big Cornish pump and two smaller ones with a capacity for pumping out 20,000 gallons an hour. I shall send up from here at least two pumps, one with a capacity of 48,000 and the other of 18,000 gallons an hour. These will lift 2,000,000 gallons a day. We may be at work in two or three weeks again, but it certainly will not be over a month at farthest."
Asked about the cause of the fire, Mr. Lane said there was no doubt that it was caused by accident. "A piece of fuse from a shot was probably thrown against some timbers in a dry place. You know how these old timbers will be crushed almost into splinters by the pressure and be easily ignited." Mr. Lane was very modest about his gallant conduct in rescuing the men from the 1100-foot level. "The men had to be got out," he said. He spoke of having been overcome more than once by the foul gases when he and a shift-boss went to open up the bulkheads after the tire was extinguished. "Couldn't very well find the men," he said. "But then there was not so much danger to any one with a strong constitution." Asked about the ore in the upper part of the mine and keeping the mills going, he said : "We shall need all the power for the pumps and shall not run the mill on that ore. We have plenty of it, of course. There is enough in the upper part of tne mine to keep us going six or seven years." Speaking of the outlook in the lower levels, he said: "The ore shows bigger and richer as we go down. In fact, I believe that with all that has been done we have not more than begun to open the mine." During the fire the superintendent's principal adviser and assistant, William Miller, general underground foreman, displayed admiral self-possession and bravery. T. T. LANE, SUPERINTENDENT OP THE UTICA MINE. [From a photograph.] William Miller, General Underground Foreman of the Utica Mine.