Wylie LP Gas Owner Speaks About Monday's Massive Fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/3/06

Wylie LP Gas Owner Speaks About Monday's Massive Fire

It was one of the most dangerous fires Lubbock has ever seen. Investigators ruled Monday's propane fire at Wylie LP Gas an accident, but that doesn't make the clean up or the devastation any easier for the owner and his employees. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel went back to the scene and spoke with Wylie's owner, Bill Tipton.

Imagine this, you're sitting at your office late Monday afternoon, when someone runs in and says your business of 22 years is about to be engulfed in flames, and you only have seconds to get away. Well, that's exactly what happened to Bill Tipton just moments before his propane tanks caught fire.

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"I talk to the manager every morning." When Bill Tipton came to work Monday morning it was business as usual. But just eight hours later, he received a phone call that would change his life. "I heard some disturbances in the background and he hung up on me. He called me back and said we have a fire." In a matter of seconds, Bill's business of 22 years was up in flames. "It's kinda sickening. It feels like someone kicked you in the stomach real hard. The pain hasn't gone away yet."

Bill says the community has been very supportive. And while he's thankful no lives were lost, he grieves for other surrounding business owners. "If I could tell you today exactly what happened, I could guarantee it wouldn't happen again. I'm just going to try to make things even safer than they are now."

For Wylie LP Gas, business must go on, and they must start mending 22 years of business that took seconds to destroy. "I do plan on rebuilding. I'm not going away that easy."

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