NEWS HEADLINES

Explosions rock rural neighborhood

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, April 6, 2013

A series of explosions startled a neighborhood near Decatur Thursday morning.

A metal workshop housing pier drilling equipment caught fire between 9 and 10 a.m. Something inside the shop set off a series of explosions soon after the fire started. “I heard about five explosions,” said neighbor John Reeves. “The first one rattled my home. It sounded like a sonic boom.

FIERY EXPLOSIONS - Decatur firefighters battle a blaze in a workshop Thursday morning off County Road 1100 Thursday morning. The fire set off a series of explosions inside startling the quiet neighborhood northwest of Decatur. Messenger photo by Brandon Evans

FIERY EXPLOSIONS – Decatur firefighters battle a blaze in a workshop Thursday morning off County Road 1100 Thursday morning. The fire set off a series of explosions inside startling the quiet neighborhood northwest of Decatur. Messenger photo by Brandon Evans

“All the neighbors came running outside. The building was completely covered in flames.”

Firefighters from Decatur, Alvord and Chico responded to the fire in the 100 block of County Road 1100. They arrived to find black smoke pouring into a cloudy sky and blowing south over Decatur. Flames consumed the metal workshop and the large pier drilling truck parked inside.

Homeowner Lani Vaughn said the explosions might have been caused by the tires on the truck. But there were also barrels of oil inside the workshop. She was inside her nearby home when the structure caught fire and told investigators she didn’t know how it started.

The pier drilling truck belonged to her son Norman. He kept the truck in the same workshop that his father ran Decatur Tractor and Auto shop out of for years.

“Fortunately no one was injured, and nobody else’s property caught on fire,” Vaughn said. “Things can be replaced. The good Lord will look out for us. He always does.”

Firefighters remained at the scene more than two hours keeping the fire under control as it slowly burned out.

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