MORRISON, R. H. (c. 1896-1939), was killed in Avalon in a gas water heater explosion on May 13. He was 43 years old.
In the News~
May 16, 1939 [San Bernardino County Sun]: “Gas heater's blast causes fatal burns. Avalon, Catalina Island, May 15. R. H. Morrison, 43, was fatally burned by an explosion today when he started to light a gas water heater.”
May 18, 1939 [TI/Avalon]: “At the hours of approximately 3:48 P.M., May 13, Mr. Morrison, of Piedmont, California, a guest at the home of James S. Lawshe, 334 Catalina Avenue, descended to the cellar of the premises above noted, and attempted to light the gas-burning water heater located therein. For reasons as yet undetermined, an explosion occurred, and Mr. Morrison, who was alone in the house, had strength enough to climb back up to the first floor and to telephone the fire department and also to ask that an ambulance be sent for him. Just before the arrival of the fire department, Hugh Smith of the Santa Catalina Island Company, driving by in is truck, noticed smoke coming out of the windows. He immediately went into the building, and groping through the smoke, discovered a man lying on the floor in the kitchen. He carried him out of the building, oput him into the truck and carried him to the hospital. Dr. Bussey was immediately called from the golf course and telephoned for Dr. Strathearn, who came from Los Angeles. Mr. Morrison lived until approximately 4:30 P.M. Sunday, May 14.”