Heater blamed for explosion and fire at asphalt plant in Berea

BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – Firefighters responded to an explosion Sunday night in Madison County, putting out the fire before it got to tens of thousands of gallons of a flammable product used for making blacktop.

The Berea Fire Department says an off-duty firefighter saw the flames at The Allen Company off KY-21 and called it in around 6:21 p.m.

Firefighters found an old heater for the facility had exploded. They say several 100 gallons of oil were feeding it and natural gas was keeping the fire burning. The fire department found a valve to shut off the natural gas supply.

Delta Gas also shut off the main valve just to be safe.

Firefighters used foam in their firefighting efforts. They say they had the fire out by about 7:00 p.m.

No one was hurt.

Firefighters say they don’t know what caused it and probably never will because it was so badly damaged. No one was at the facility at the time and it wasn’t operating.

According to the fire department, the old heater sits in a containment area of its own so there was very little run-off from the damage and firefighting efforts.

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