Investigators uncertain what sparked Oakland fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Investigators uncertain what sparked Oakland munitions plant blaze

Investigators may never know what exactly sparked an explosion that killed a factory worker in Oakland. Investigators may never know what exactly sparked an explosion that killed a factory worker in Oakland.

By Nick Kenney - bio | email | Facebook

OAKLAND, TN (WMC-TV) - Investigators may never know what exactly sparked an explosion that killed a factory worker in Oakland.

A burned-down, hollowed-out shell of a tin building is all that remains of the Kinematics ammunitions factory in Oakland.  Wednesday afternoon, the factory caught fire and exploded, but Thursday, investigators could not pin down exactly what ignited the blaze.

"The incident appears to be an accidental fire, and explosion, and no foul play is suspected," Oakland Fire Chief Rudy Doyle said.

Investigators with the ATF and the Oakland Fire Department spent Thursday in and out of the building, trying to determine how the blaze was sparked.  According to Doyle, the fire started on the north side of the building halfway between front and back. Doyle said the fire ignited at the work station at which Murray Clifford Davis Jr. was working.

Murray died in the fire.

"An explosion occurred in a powder feeding mechanism, which in turn ignited nearby combustibles and ammunition manufacturing components," Doyle said.

The medical examiner has not ruled on Murray's official cause of death.

Meanwhile, the owner of Kinematics plans to rebuild the facility, which recycles and reloads brass shell casings.

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