Explosion at Mobil gas station in Ashland

Posted at 7:36 AM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 17:51:42-04

ASHLAND - Columbia Gas of Ohio is investigating a possible gas leak on the scene of an fiery overnight explosion at an Ashland gas station. 

Ashland police and fire crews were called the Mobil Mart on East Main Street early Tuesday for a report of an explosion. 

"I just see the flames getting bigger and bigger," a 911 caller reported to police at  3:27 a.m. 

The building of the Mobil gas station sustained significant damage and the rear part of the building was blown into the street. Beer cans, food, bricks and other debris still littered the parking lot and sidewalk on Tuesday afternoon. 

Several small fires were put out by responding crews.

One employee that was inside the store at the time of the explosion was not injured, authorities said. 

A spokesperson for Ashland Fire Department told late Tuesday afternoon that the cause had still not been determined.

A DVR recorder for surveillance video was recovered from the building but crews denied's request for the video.

Investigators confirmed that the Mobil Mart, previously a Sunoco, was the source of a gasoline leak that spilled into the Town Creek in 2014. The case was handled by the EPA's Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulation.

"We would walk by when we would go to the store and smell it," a former employee who did not wish to use her name told "You know its a really strong smell."

The employee said that the tanks were replaced but said other issues with gasoline and coolers inside the store concerned her.

"I had serious safety concerns," she said.

Investigators would not say whether gasoline tank leaks had been ruled out as a source. 

A State Fire Marshal was on the scene Tuesday morning.