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Neighbors shocked at business explosion in Harrogate

4:14 PM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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  • Firefighters battle Claiborne Co. blaze just south of Harrogate 2/25/13
  • Firefighters battle Claiborne Co. blaze just south of Harrogate 2/25/13
    

Monday morning neighbors in one Claiborne County community woke up to fire and explosions in their neighborhood.

A local business, Hunley Repair, caught fire.

The Fire Chief for the Harrogate Volunteer Fire Department said it is the largest explosion he has ever seen and neighbors agreed they have never seen anything like it.

Just before 6:00 Monday morning, Vickie Gibbs heard several loud explosions.

"It just burned," said Gibbs, "We kept hearing numerous explosions and that was it."

She didn't know what it was and neither did her neighbors.

Neighbor, Lynn, Treece, explained, "I talked to several around here who heard the explosion. They said there was two or three. I don' t know what it was."

More than dozen people called 911 concerned about what they saw and heard.

The Fire Chief said the store erupted in fire.The company repairs and services tanker trucks in a rented facility on Londonderry Road.

Callers told Claiborne County 911 Operators that there was a fire, an explosion, and a giant fireball.

The Fire Chief said the company lost several personal items and a tanker truck.

More than seven units spent hours knocking down flames and dodging more explosions. No one was hurt.

One home was evacuated as a precaution.

No word on the cause of the fire.

Update 9:42 a.m.

A Harrogate business fire lit up the sky Monday morning when flames and smoke exploded twice; once sending a mushroom cloud 300 to 400 feet in the air.

The Harrogate Volunteer Fire Chief told 10News a neighbor noticed the first explosion at Hunley Repair on Londonderry Rd. off of Highway 63.

Authorities say the roof collapsed on the business which has rented the space for 22 years.

Seven units then responded from Harrogate Volunteer Fire Department. Cumberland Gap and Speedwell provided mutual aid.  

Authorities say an empty tanker was inside.  The building also contained 3 cars, a motorcycle, and a boat or jet ski.

Hunley Repair preps tanker trucks by mounting the tanker on the truck.

There have been no reported injuries.

Previous story

Several fire departments battled a blaze at a business on the 600 block of Londonderry in Harrogate according to Claiborne County dispatchers.

The call came into the E911 department around 6:00 a.m. Monday.

At the time of this posting, there were no reported injuries.

10News has a crew en route.

Stay with 10News and wbir.com for more on this developing story.

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