Propane tank leak creates fireball near Millersville church - WSMV Channel 4

Propane tank leak creates fireball near Millersville church

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MILLERSVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A propane tank caught fire in Robertson County early Tuesday morning, and authorities are now investigating whether the blaze was purposefully set.

The incident occurred near Bethel Baptist Church just before 2 a.m. on Bethel Road, said local police. Roads in the area were closed as crews brought the fire under control, and they each reopened by 5:50 a.m.

No one was injured, and no one had to be evacuated. It's unclear what caused the problem, but surveillance video could help crack the case into what or who is responsible for the fire.

Authorities say the video shows a single subject near the propane tank before the fire began, and for now that could be the best clue investigators have.

Officials have not released a description of that person seen in the video.

"I was asleep, and my wife said something had exploded. I got up and you could hear a big roar. It kind of sounded like a turbine. I came outside and saw flames extremely high," said neighbor Dennis Edwards.

Eight departments and 30 firefighters responded to shuttle in water to the scene, where there were not enough hydrants.

Officials said technically the tank did not explode. They said a valve released the gas, causing popping sounds loud enough to wake neighbors.

At one point, flames were reportedly about 40 feet in the air.

Crews from both Robertson and Sumner County were able to get the fire under control by 5 a.m., and preschool at Bethel Baptist Church was closed on Tuesday as a precaution.

"Once we got the tank cooled down to where the valve was no longer going off, we were able to put a team together to go up and cut the tank off," said Millersville Fire Chief Thomas King. "We are treating this as a crime scene (because) it is a church. We don't know what happened, not sure if it's mechanical or accidental."

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