According to the autobiography, there was a tornado on May 18, 1883 which touched down just before 7 PM. Eight were killed, and almost a hundred injured. One fellow was in his family outhouse when he and it got picked up carried him out into Lake Michigan for about half a mile. He was rescued with no ill effects mentioned. This sketch doesn't quite have as direct a connection to the manuscript - there are two sections for which the content is close (and there are two separate sketches listed). The first (and less likely) is that of a stove invented by George as a means of a safer form of heating in the shop, where flammable solvents were widely used.

The second (and more likely) possibility is that this is referring to a gasoline container with a lid having a fusible link - then the link melted (if the gasoline caught fire) gravity would take over, and the lid would shut. And at that time, gasoline was an industry standard degreaser.
One project by the company (at the request of the J.I.Case company) was to build a "Gnome" radial aircraft engine. After it was built, a test run was set up in the open doorway of the shop, a 2-bladed prop was put on it, and it was started. Unfortunately, the airflow was out of the shop, resulting in "fresh" air being sucked into the shop via the coal heaters and stoves in the shop. Resulting in the shop filling up with smoke.