In what could have been an explosive situation, a fuel truck containing thousands of gallons of gas ruptured a line and began spilling its highly flammable cargo Monday morning outside The Smoke Shop on Sparta Street.
Voluntary evacuations were made for the homes near The Smoke Shop given both the flammability of the leaking gas and the fumes from the uncontrolled rupture. Traffic was blocked in the area as emergency officials had a earthen dam hastily constructed to help catch the gasoline which ran across the store parking lot and onto the nearby road threatening to enter the ground water in the area.
Those approaching the shop were turned away given the fact burning cigarettes or lighters could have sparked an explosion. The leak meant the loss of part of a day of revenue for the business owners, who waited out front of their shop while crews worked to contain the gasoline.
A preliminary investigation revealed the fuel hose being used to off-load gas from the truck into underground tanks beside The Smoke Shop ruptured, causing the gas to spew out of the tanker at an alarming rate. The reason for the rupture has not been revealed.
Crews estimated around 2,300 gallons were in the tanker when it started to leak. However, a good portion of the cargo was pumped off into another tanker to avoid the entire fuel shipment being lost onto the ground. Regular gas was selling at the shop for $3.21 a gallon at the time of the incident.