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Flash fire victims flown to UT Medical Center

8:26 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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By Julie Ball, Asheville Citizen-Times

A flash fire injured three people, two of them critically, at a Freeman Gas storage facility in Robbinsville, NC this afternoon.

All three injured people were airlifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

The fire occurred between 4 and 4:30 p.m. at the facility, located at the corner of Old Sweetwater Road and Valley View Road a mile or so outside Robbinsville.

"Everything at the facility is safe. There is no leaks," said Mike Dobbins, a regional manager with Freeman Gas.

"Our main concern right now is our employees and their families," said Dobbins.

Dobbins said he did not have details on what the men were doing at the time of the fire.

Graham County Sheriff Mickey Anderson said two of the men suffered critical injuries.

Anderson said he had been told the fire occurred when workers were pumping gas out of something and that it was unclear what triggered the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Ronnie Shuler, who lives across the street from the propane storage facility, said, "You can smell propane up here all the time. That's normal, I reckon."

Freeman sells propane in four Southeastern states.

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