Charles Bolchoz

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Former The Tiger Editor-in-Chief Charles Bolchoz (October 1979-March 1980) is one of four victims of a blast at the T2 Laboratories plant in Jacksonville, Florida, at 1:33 p.m., December 19, 2007, the most severe industrial accident in nearly three years. The concussion of the explosion was felt for several miles. The explosion's force was equivalent to detonating about a ton of TNT and it spread debris up to a mile from the plant. Some 14 others were injured at the chemical facility where gasoline additives are produced, amongst other products. T2 Laboratories' chemical reactor ruptured, according to a preliminary investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. The investigators reported their belief that the reactor ruptured during the production of a gasoline additive. Following the explosion, every hazardous-materials unit in Jacksonville and over 100 firefighters fought the ensuing blaze, which a spokesman termed a "hellish inferno". Bolchoz, 48, was the head chemical engineer. His body was recovered on December 20. A memorial service was held in Jacksonville on December 26, with his funeral in Charleston, S.C., December 29. Chaz had attended the Centennial reunion of The Tiger in March 2007, and as was appropriate, the Senior Staff from that era adjourned downtown to the Sloan Street Tap-Room to hold a "Tuesday Night editorial board", just as we did that first fall of 1979 when Jimmy Howard had just opened his place. Little did we suspect that that would be our last pitcher of Blatz with Charles.