This story was originally in the Cambridge Chronicle and Journal, January 1st 1813.
“On Saturday se’nnight [the previous Saturday], Mr. Woodier, a farmer from the parish of Lovaton, having purchased 20lbs weight of gunpowder in Ashburton, took it in a bag to the shop of Mr. Chalk, blacksmith”
LET’S PAUSE RIGHT THERE
ANYONE WITH AN OUNCE OF COMMON SENSE SEE A PROBLEM?
“and while waiting for his horse untied the mouth of the bag to put in a stone for the purpose of balancing the weight; unfortunately a spark of fire from the anvil communicated to the powder, which instantly blew up the house and another adjoining.
“Chalk, his apprentice, and three children, were buried in the ruins but were dug out without sustaining material injury. Woodier had an arm broken. The crash was tremendous, and the shock was felt throughout the town”.
It’s like rural nineteenth-century news reporting on Looney Tunes.