Fire crews investigate gas station explosion in Tipton Co.

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

TIPTON COUNTY, TN (WMC) - ATF and TBI's Bomb and Arson Division are now leading an investigation into a gas station explosion in Mason, Tennessee.

The explosion rocked the tiny town of roughly 1,500, jolting residents out of bed before sunrise on Friday.

"Oh Golly," said one person. "I was all in the bed sleeping and it sounded like a bomb went off."

The explosion happened before 3 a.m. at the corner of Highways 70 and 59. It was something these residents said they won't soon forget.

"Everybody on Washington Street was out in the road in their PJ's walking up and down talking to everyone," said Charles Blanton, who lives near the gas station.

The intensity of the heat melted metal roofing, but left the old gas pumps nearly untouched.

"I have this big ol' tree beside the house and I've been worried about this for years. I thought it was going to fall there into the house," Blanton said. "That was my first instinct."

Fire crews from all over responded to the explosion. By that time, the building was deemed unstable and walls and support beams were already destroyed by the fire.

"We could see the flames you know from where we were," Blanton said. "Quite a shocking experience."

Hours later, the old gas station was still smoldering.

"Could you imagine having a bomb dropped on your house at 3 o'clock in the morning?" Blanton said.

Local investigators called in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to solve the mystery of what caused this middle of the night blast. Nobody was injured.

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