Conflicting calls concerning an explosion started flooding the Police/Fire Dispatch office around 4:00 Monday afternoon. Callers reported locations from Mohican Court in Indian Hills to the railroad tracks and the Pillsbury plant.
Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department’s District 2, Engine 1, Shift Commander, Shift Training Officer, and three Assistant Fire Marshals immediately responded to the area to try to confirm the location and nature of the incident.
The incident was finally tracked to an area along the Stones River where a licensed blasting contractor from Gladeville, Tennessee (Robert and Cassie Blasting Company) was blasting for a new Murfreesboro Water & Sewer Department sewer line. The area in question was behind the Pillsbury and Yoplait plants off Butler Drive.
According to Assistant Fire Marshal Michael Bartlett, the company pulled their first shot, more commonly known as a breaking shot, and did not have a cover on it. Bartlett said that where they were blasting, in such an isolated area, it was not necessary to have the shot covered. However, a nearby business, Kloeckner Metals (650 Butler Drive), is claiming that the blast shook their building and that debris may have also caused some damage.
A representative from the blasting company, Robert Spickard, inspected the area to determine if any debris reached outside the area of the blast and could not confirm that any debris left the blasting site.
Bartlett commented, “The company was far away enough from everything that not using a cover should not have been an issue. They do not appear to have done anything wrong.” Bartlett also said that the State Fire Marshal’s Office monitors blasting in Rutherford County and mentioned that they will most likely conduct some type of investigation into the matter.
No one was injured during the incident and MFRD crews have cleared the scene.