UPDATE: Corbin firefighters are continuing salvage and overhaul of a fire that damaged W.D. Bryant store on Main Street Friday morning.
Firefighters were called to the scene at approximately 11:45 a.m. in response to reports of an explosion at the store.
Witnesses reported hearing multiple explosions in a storage area at the back of the building containing paint and other chemicals.
Jeff Earnest, one of the co-owners, said in addition to 25-30 employes, the store was full of customers at the time.
“Our employees did exactly what they were supposed to, getting everyone out safely,” Earnest said.
Corbin firefighters said the blaze spread up into the area above the drop ceiling. Firefighters were forced to pull down sections of the ceiling in order to ensure the fire was extinguished.
Additional off-duty firefighters were called in to assist in the firefighting effort.
Firefighters had the blaze under control within approximately 30 minutes.
While the fire damage was contained to the storage room and the area immediately outside of it, firefighters said there is a small amount of heat damage in the immediate area and smoke damage throughout the store.
Corbin Police Chief Rusty Hedrick, who was on the scene, said law enforcement is not discounting the possibility that the fire is connected to an attempt to set off an incendiary device outside the Tractor Supply Store in Williamsburg earlier Friday morning.
A Kentucky State Police arson investigator and agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were called to the Corbin store.
The Corbin Fire Department is currently on scene battling a fire at the W.D. Bryant store on Main Street in Corbin.
A fire apparently broke out in the paint storage area some time before noon. A witness on scene said multiple explosions could be heard inside the building prior to the fire.
The fire has spread into the ceiling of the building.
Owners at the store just said all employees of the store are safe and accounted for.
Extra, off-duty firefighters have been called to the scene to help extinguish the blaze.
When asked if the fire could be related so a similar incident at Tractor Supply in Williamsburg earlier in the morning, Corbin Police Chief Rusty Hedrick said, “we aren’t ruling anything out.”
More information as it becomes available. Check back to www.thenewsjournal.net.