Still Burned at Woodbury

April 29, 1927

Capt. William Yoakum, of the Nassau County police, a Federal agent, two policemen and four truck drivers narrowly escaped death when a still which they were dismantling¬† exploded and caught fire. Thebarn, 300×150 feet. On the farmer Richard Colyer farm on Woodbury road, which contained the still was burned to the ground before firemen responded to the alarm.

The eight men were on the first floor of the barn dismantling the still when there was a flash and a puff of smock and in an instant the interior of the barn was a mass of flame. All fled for their lives and escaped with a slight singeing.

The still was discovered in the raid Monday night.

The explosion was in the cellar, due no doubt to some of the live embers in the furnace coming in contact with alcohol spilled by the wrecking crew.  With the explosion there was a hurtling into the air of parts of the furnace and still and as the flaming fire brands fell the police and truck men jumped for their live. Two police cars and the truck were close to the building and it seemed for a time that they would catch fire. The police, however, got the car away without damage.

An alarm was sent to Central Park, Hicksville and Woodbury and the firemen responded but the barn and its contents were quickly destroyed and their efforts were useless.

The police say the owner of the barn is Barney Votypka of Woodbury. The police say that the plant which contained two 500-gallon stills and a large quantity of match and other articles used in the making of booze, was worth $100,000 it was the largest still found here since prohibition became effective.

GuiseppeRocamandalo 365 Rockaway avenue, Brooklyn. Who was found behind a still during the raid was arraigned yesterday before United States Commissioner Rasquin in Brooklyn and held in $10,000 ball on a charge of violation of the Volstead Act pending action of the Grand Jury.


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