Forest fire caused an explosion in Floyd County

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

An explosion spooked many people in the Wheelwright section of Floyd County last night.

It happened at about 8:30 on the side of the mountain in Golf Course Hollow.

The explosion was felt and heard by everyone on Golf Course Hollow caused quite a stir Friday night in Wheelwright.

"While I was standing out here, I heard the explosion. I whipped around real fast and that's when I felt it like tremble, like I felt the earth shake," said Chad Perry, who lives on Golf Course Hollow.

Next, Perry saw flames and called 9-1-1 not knowing what caused the apparent explosion.

"I didn't know what was going on really. My first instinct I thought it was a plane crash. I mean it was so loud," said Perry.

But officials in Wheelwright say a fire on the side of the mountain hit a gas line causing it to explode.

"This has happened several times before and usually it's a forest fire that causes it. And actually there's a forest fire on the other side of the hill, so we're pretty sure that's what caused this," said Andy Akers, mayor of Wheelwright and assistant fire chief.

Gas company employees arrived on the scene within an hour of the explosion shutting the valves off.

"At this time, it's not that big of area. It's burning its way down the hill, so it's taking its time coming down. Its not done too much damage on our side," said Mayor Akers.

Smoke and spurts of flames are all you can see now. Chad Perry says he will be keeping a watchful eye on it from his front yard.

"If I see it getting close to the house over here, then I will call the Wheelwright Fire Department," said Perry.

Until then, fire officials are hoping for rain and cold weather to stop the fire from spreading.

Officials say the forest fire actually started on the other side of the mountain in Melvin on Tackett Hollow.

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