BEAVER, WV (WOAY) – On Sunday afternoon locals in the Beaver area were surprised when an explosion occurred at Judy’s, a lottery parlor on Ritter Drive.
The call came in a little after 4:30 P.M. Things were contained by first responders, but for safety reasons, they evacuated everyone from Airport Road to the local car wash.
According to Will Davis, the information officer with the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department, power was shut down on neighboring businesses and Route 19 in Beaver was completely blocked off.
“The Beaver Volunteer Fire Department took their gas meters into different buildings along the area to determine if there was a possibility of that gas spreading,” Davis said. “When the O2 levels were found to be low in some buildings, we determined it was time to evacuate.”
Once it was determined things were safe, they restored power and permitted businesses to reopen around 9:00 P.M. Sunday night.
The explosion was powerful enough to knock down parts of the roof and walls. A fire started soon after and one injury was reported. Officials are still investigating, but they are almost certain a gas leak was responsible.
“There had been structural damage, a car on fire out front. It blew the roof up and it landed back down, you can see the damage around the back. [Also it] blew the wall out at two sides.”
“The working theory is that it was a gas explosion of undetermined nature. The gas company is here doing some investigation. We’ve got state resources that are in also.”
The Beaver Volunteer Fire Department believes natural gas had leaked into a nearby sewer line and caused the explosion.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the incident.