UPDATED 11:22 AM Fri: San Marcos Fire Department Investigates Two Explosions At Chestnut Drive

Staff Reports


Fire investigators have concluded the investigation into the explosions that erupted on Chestnut Street at a food trailer park on Thursday morning.

Investigators determined a propane gas leak within Rondooley’s Inc. food trailer came in contact with an unspecified ignition source, causing the first explosion.

The second explosion was caused by a separate propane bottle in the area of the fire that became overheated, causing it to explode. No criminal act is suspected in this incident.

Local firefighters are investigating two explosions in the area of 801 Chestnut Lane this morning.

According to officials, the explosions rocked the neighborhood around 6 AM; the San Marcos Fire Department responded and identified a food truck had exploded.

Residents reported hearing the explosion as far as the Willow Creek Estates Neighborhood.

Fire Chief Les Stephens said San Marcos Firefighters arrived at the location at approximately 6:11 AM and began to engage a small fire from the first explosion; a second explosion occurred at 6:20 AM.

“At this point we have no reports of any injuries nearby or in any of the surrounding buildings or the Vie Lofts which are directly behind it,” Stephens said. “There are a total of seven buildings that received varying degrees of damage.”

Stephens said while fighting the initial fire, firefighters recognized they were too close and pulled back before the second explosion occurred.

According to officials, the fire department has engaged the Texas Railroad Commission to help them with the investigation; the City of San Marcos Health Department was on the scene to monitor buildings in the area and the city building official who will be helping with the structural damage assessment.

While city officials requested residents stay indoors and away from windows around 6:45 AM, this notice was lifted around 7:20 AM; Texas State students in the area have been given the all-clear to walk to class.

However, the City of San Marcos has closed several streets this morning including Sessom Drive, Chestnut Drive and Forrest at LBJ Drive to all but pedestrian traffic.

Stephens said he was not ready to say whether propane tanks may have been involved or the cause of the explosions at this time.

“The owners are on scene,” Stephens said. “They say it was a food truck that was involved in the first incident.”

San Marcos Fire Marshall Kelly Kistner said the seven structures do not include any of the food trucks and refer to buildings and businesses around the explosion site; however, a total of four food trucks were damaged in the explosions.

Stephens said officials will be on-site investigating the explosions through the middle of the day if not longer.

“We did go door by door through the apartment complexes in the area to make sure there were no injuries, but at the time there was no need to evacuate the area,” Stephens said.

Stephens said that the city has records showing each of the food trucks on-site had been inspected.

The investigation is on going; more information will be released as it is available.  

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