UPDATE: Fire investigators are trying to figure out what caused an explosion and large fire at a Smith County oil facility.

This happened at a Vess Oil Property around 10 Monday night. Witnesses report seeing flames from 4 miles away, shooting at least 50 feet high. Fire investigators say 3 storage tanks and 1 building were burned in the fire.

No one was at the scene when the fire started and no evacuations were ordered. A firefighter who lived near the oil field is the one who called it in. Vess Oil Company sent a representative to the scene who started shutting down the wells, which removed the fuel source.

Firefighters say the fire is under control. They are just letting it burn itself out.


Firefighters had yet to determine the cause of a blaze that erupted late Monday at a Vess Oil property off of County Road 313, east of Tyler State Park.

Firefighters responded to the scene about 10 p.m. and had the fire under control by about midnight.

Michael Sammons, Red Springs Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief, said the property is a pump station for saltwater, oil and natural gas and was unmanned at the time of the fire.

Three storage tanks and one pump house are located on the property. A company operator shut down the wells.

Sammons said at the height of the blaze flames stretched 50 feet in the air and were visible up to five miles away.

Firefighters let the fire burn out and only extinguished the structures, Sammons said.

In addition to Red Springs, Lindale and Winona fire departments worked the scene.

Firefighters planned to continue to work through the night to contain the spillage and monitor the flames, Sammons said.

There were no injuries and no evacuations. Although there are houses on County Road 313, the facility is about two miles off that road.




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