NEW INFO: State & Feds Investigating Propane Fire

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

The State Bureau of Investigation and the A.T.F. are investigating last night's fire at a Winterville truck business.

The potential for an explosion at American Truck Center lead to road closures overnight. Now it's business as usual this morning.

Fire crews had to close all four lanes of Highway 11 in Winterville, after a 1,000 gallon propane tank valve ignited causing flames to shoot up into the air.

Anthony Phelps, the parts manager told WITN there was no damage to the building.


An explosion led to fire along Highway 11 in Winterville Thursday night causing the road to be shut down while crews investigated.

It happened at American Truck Center after 9:30 Thursday night. Anthony Phelps, the parts manager, tells WITN the explosion came from a propane tank.

A valve popped off somehow igniting the blast.

Phelps says the flames were pretty impressive, but thankfully didn't cause any damage to the building.

No one was injured and were told things are under control.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Wow on Jul 31, 2009 at 06:43 PM
    I have to hide my grill next time I give it a lite.
  • by RoLo Location: Hooterville on Jul 31, 2009 at 03:47 PM
    Why is the SBI involved? Seems like a waste of an already busy agencys time. Why not get WPD CSI to solve this. Could someone be making a mountain out of a molehill?
  • by anonymous Location: pittco on Jul 31, 2009 at 11:35 AM
    who was the gas company that over filled the tank to cause this? they would be replacing that tank of gas thats for sure..especially if it was their fault it happened.
  • by CCW Location: Washington,NC on Jul 31, 2009 at 11:21 AM
    The relief valve is in place to prevent a condition known as "BLEVE". This is an acronym for "boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion. The chief is correct in stating the results would be devastating. There is a tremendous amount of energy stored in a single gallon of liquified pertoleum gas.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Jul 31, 2009 at 09:54 AM
    Mike, view the and read the first paragraph in story "Efforts prevent explosion".
  • by Mike Location: Hamilton on Jul 31, 2009 at 06:47 AM
    The valve on the propane tank is a safety device. It didn't open up &release propane without a reason .Either it was a defective valve or the tank was over filled 80 % is the maximum one is supposed to be filled. Next question is what did the propane come in contact with to cause a spark which ignited the propane.
  • by VFD on Jul 31, 2009 at 03:40 AM
    tank was filled too full, built up pressure in tank, relief valve popped off to release pressure

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