Fire Guts Tennessee Gas Station

The Knoxville Fire Department is still investigating the exact cause


Knoxville (WVLT) - Clean-up efforts are still underway at the BP station on Western Avenue after the early morning fire.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford is on the scene with more on what happened.

The Knoxville Fire Department is still investigating the exact cause, but they say it appears a service station employee was draining gas from a gas tank, when static ignited the fumes and caused the flash explosion.

"We were sitting in the service station and there was a loud explosion and next thing we knew there was a fire coming across the floor," Tim Helton is one of about eight customers that was inside at the time of the explosion. "We all just went running out of the building."

"I was on the phone in the office and I heard something and I looked up and the whole place was in flames," Angela Human says she's worked at Human's BP for almost 20 years. Her father started the business in 1951, and now her brother owns it.

"I think he's planning on rebuilding, but we're not real sure right now," says Human.

"Human's BP is a staple in this community and the community will feel it for quite awhile," Helton says.

Fortunately the employee draining the gas inside the service station only suffered minor injuries, firefighters say it could've been much worse.

"Someone could've been killed," says Assistant Fire Chief Mark Foulks.

KFD tells WVLT the employee suffered minor burns to his hands and face and is being treated at UT Medical Center.

The fire department also has blankets in place along the, to keep the oil and fuel from going into the storm drains.

An unfortunate situation, but again, no one seriously injured here.