On early Wednesday morning at Wilson Trucking Company in Charlotte, North Carolina, a man at work named Robert Young heard an explosion. Upon turning to see what the loud noise was, Young spotted flames raging out from the loading dock. According to Young, there were two or three explosions behind one another. The incident resulted in a four-alarm fire.
According to emergency crews, several people were hurt as a result of the explosion. The explosion occurred at the 7500 block of Statesville Road, and fire, police, and MEDIC were called to the scene just before 6:00 a.m. The crews arrived to huge flames and an abundance of smoke at the loading dock area. It took around 90 firefights about two hours to control the fire.
MEDIC stated that they took five people to Carolinas Medical Center, one having serious injuries, two having potentially life-threatening injuries, and two with minor injuries. By the afternoon on Wednesday, four of the injured were still at the Carolinas Medical Center. Two of the injured are in fair condition, while two are in good condition.
Charlotte fire representatives have not yet stated what exploded or what the cause of the fire was; however, workers told Channel 9 that there are definitely hazards in the building they were working on.
According to Young, “We (have) got propane tanks and a couple of gas powered lifts. We [have] got fireworks there. All kinds of HAZMAT chemicals in there. We ship a lot of stuff (and) there’s really no telling what’s on the dock at any time”. With that, Jon Hannan, Fire Chief, said the loading dock is built in a way that could have helped spread the fire.
As a result of the four-alarm fire, Statesville Road was shut down, causing traffic to be a disaster during the morning rush hour. According to officials, Statesville Road was shut down in both directions from Lakeview Road to Sunset Road. The road reopened around 9:00 in the morning that day.
The estimated property damage that arose from the four-alarm fire had been estimated at roughly $1.5 million, and the cause continues to be under investigation.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration: