A gas explosion occurred in Highland on Monday morning around 10:15 a.m., police said.
Multiple emergency crews were on the scene and Highland police said they were working on putting out a fire at Gateway Cylinder Technologies, located in the 200 block of Plaza Drive at 10:40 a.m.
Highland EMS Chief Brian Wilson said there was at least one injured man on scene.
“We were able to treat the injured party right away and he had non-life threatening burns on his body,” Wilson said.
The injured man was transferred to Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, according to Wilson.
Highland Fire Chief Rick Bloemker said fire began in a building that is used for recycling and handling acetylene and other flammable gases. While the cause of the explosion that lit the fire has not been determined, it was speculated that it ignited during the offloading procedure of the gas caused an explosion which caused the fire, according to Bloemker.
“Throughout this procedure something went haywire,” Bloemker said. “Something did not go right.”
Bloemker said fire crews had to lay about 1,200 to reach the building where the fire occurred, which was a pole barn approximately 55 by 75 feet in size
“Those things go down in a hurry,” Bloemker said.
Wilson said when he arrived at the scene he could tell there was active fire throughout the whole building. He said within five minutes of his arrival the back half of the building collapsed, shortly followed by the front
Wilson said fire crews were able to utilize a backhoe to peel away parts of the building so they could water down the hotspots. All in all, Bloemker said the fire was extinguished fairly quickly.
“Once we got water on it, it probably took about 15 minutes,” Bloemker said.
A fire investigator was at the scene to try to determine the source of the explosion. This information has not been released yet.
“Although there’s still a few embers smoldering back there there’s no threat, there’s no worry that will extend to anywhere else on the property,” Wilson said.
Kaley Johnson contributed to this story.