Investigators will return to the scene of a propane explosion today to try to determine the cause.
Two employees were able to escape uninjured from an explosion at Admiral Propane on Forest Street near West Main around 4:30 PM. Greeneville Fire Chief Alan Shipley said that when firefighters arrived, they found heavy fire on the west side of the business and a partial structure collapse. Shipley said that some firefighters kept the other propane tanks cool while others attacked and extinguished the flames.
Greeneville Emergency & Rescue Squad responded at helpd stabalize the structure while Greeneville Fire searched the structure for any injured people.
Josh Davis, who was driving on West Main, said he noticed gas leaking from a tank beside a building which looked like a low flying fog. Davis said that a gas cloud was low to the ground and had reached all the way down to the Forest Street/West Main intersection. Davis was in the Co-op parking lot, as he got out of his truck, he said the tanks exploded. Davis said that two female employees came running out of the administrative building next door and were able to get away from the burning building. Davis said it appeared that the entire roof of the building lifted off when the explosion happened. He said that flames were visible after the explosion as well as a loud hiss that seemed to be coming from other propane tanks.
Greeneville Police Chief Tim Ward said thankfully there were no injuries. Greeneville Police and Fire Department remained on the scene overnight. Traffic was blocked on West Main and Forest Street until about 6:30 PM. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Bomb and Arson Investigators were called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.
In addition to Greeneville Fire, the Greeneville Police Department, EMS, Rescue Squad, Greeneville Light & Power, Emergency Management Agency, and Debusk Volunteer Rehab unit responded.