Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 6, 2013

Fire and blast rock closed gas station

No injuries in Grayson

Lana Bellamy
The Independent

GRAYSON — Fire exploded from a recently closed gas station on Main Street Thursday night after a construction company may have struck a natural gas line after removing underground tanks.

Grayson Volunteer Fire Department Chief Greg Felty said no injuries were incurred from the accident and responders from the department, approximately two blocks away from the site, were on location within one or two minutes of the call received at 5:37 p.m.

The Hitchins volunteer department also responded to the blast.

Grayson Somerset Oil Gas station owner Randy McGuire said he left the site temporarily at the time of the blast, where 10 to 12 workers were operating equipment only a few feet from where the fire broke out.

The cause of the fire is believed by McGuire and Felty to be a result of striking a natural gas line underground after the removal of all the 12,000-gallon tanks, but it is yet to be officially determined.

“The building just blew from the inside out. We’re lucky nobody was killed,” McGuire said.

The construction company overseeing the job was Shield Environmental, based in Lexington, but McGuire was unsure about the company doing the digging.

McGuire said he was alerted to the fire after hearing the blast from a few blocks away. He then promptly turned in a nearby parking lot just as responders were arriving on the scene.

He said he had previously asked the city to turn off the utilities and gas in the area before construction began, but said it delivered a notice around 3 p.m. Thursday to the station requesting McGuire’s signature before shutting off services. McGuire said he was unsure if this may have also contributed to the explosion.