Lawnmower Blamed in Texas Petroleum Company Fire

March 14, 2012

Investigators say a lawnmower and spilled fuel have been blamed for a fire that destroyed much of an East Texas petroleum company.

Hazardous materials crews were spending Tuesday at Pearce Petroleum Products in Mineola for cleanup and removal of contaminated soil.

Wood County Fire Marshal Randy Selman said an employee was replacing the fuel filter and line on a riding lawnmower Sunday night. Selman said some gasoline had spilled.

The worker was using ether to help start the mower when the engine backfired and the spilled fuel caught fire. The tank on a fuel delivery truck also ruptured and spilled.

Fire department crews put out the blaze in about an hour. Nobody was hurt.

Mineola is about 75 miles east of Dallas.

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