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Explosion levels building, damages 8 others in Jensen

By Faith Heaton Jolley and Andrew Wittenberg, | Posted - Mar 2nd, 2013 @ 6:36pm

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JENSEN — A large explosion destroyed one building and damaged eight others early Saturday morning in Jensen.

The explosion and fire happened in the Ashley Valley Industrial Park at the Adler Hot Oil building, according to the Jensen Fire Department. Emergency responders received calls at 12:15 a.m. from residents who heard and felt the explosion.

More than 20 miles away, in Dinosaur, Colo., people heard the blast as well.

An evacuation order was issued for the three homes within a half mile radius of the explosion. Flames continued to burn six hours after the blast, with crews gaining control around 6 a.m.

The Adler Hot Oil Service building was reduced to practically nothing, and eight others in the Ashley Valley Industrial Park had visible damage both inside and out. Three homes were also damaged.

"This was a major explosion that not only destroyed the business where the explosion occurred, but it dramatically impacted the buildings all the way around it," said Uintah County Sheriff Jeff Merrell.

No injuries were reported as of Saturday morning from the explosion and fire, though one person was in the industrial park at the time of the explosion. The man is an employee for Matt Betts Trucking.

"Pretty lucky he was in about the only place in that shop that wasn't affected," said Robert Roth, who manages the trucking shop. "He was pretty lucky there."

Another man, an attendant at a gas station nearby, came away with a headache.

Saturday, evacuated residents were asked to gather at the Vernal Middle School where the Red Cross set up a temporary shelter while crews on scene dealt with a leaky propane tank. The residential evacuation order was lifted around noon.

The Utah State Fire Marshall are investigating the cause of the explosion and fire.


Faith Heaton Jolley
Andrew Wittenberg

    KSL Weather Forecast