Ford's fuel explosion in NMB under investigation

Caution tape cordons off the site where Ford's Fuel went up in flames after an explosion Sunday night. / Ryan Naquin

On a usual Sunday in North Myrtle Beach's Sunset Harbour community, things tend to stay pretty quiet, but around 9:30pm Sunday, an explosion shook the neighborhood into a frenzy.

Gene and Lee Thompson bought the house directly behind the Ford Fuel building, because Lee says the odds were in their favor. "Gene used to say all the time. How often do you hear about a propane company blowing up? Never!" Lee says jokingly.

Even though the couple knew of the possibility, they were still caught off guard by the blast. "My husband yelled down to me, what did you do? I told him it wasn't me. The Ford Fuel building has just blown up."

Today, the building, which is known as a propane filling station, sits as a pile of loose debris and metal.

"The explosion made my computer screen jump three inches off the desk. I didn't know what happened," says Gene.

North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling says the cause is still unknown, and no one was injured.

After calling 911, the Lee and Gene stayed at a friend's house while Horry County and North Myrtle Beach Fire departments put out the fire.

"Oh it was fun," says Gene sarcastically. "My wife really thought we were going to lose the house."

But thankfully today, the two weren't picking up pieces of a burned home. Instead, they were only picking up pieces of burned insulation in their front yard belonging to Ford Fuel.

"The fire departments got here in a matter of minutes," says Lee.

A few houses down, the Vick family's night also went from casual to chaotic. Carroll and Joyce were watching television when the building exploded. "It was like a bomb had gone off," says Carroll Vick. "I saw flames, and I knew the propane place had blown up."

Carrol says the entire neighborhood was blanketed in black smoke in a matter of moments.

The explosion also caused fuel to leak out leaving gas fumes in the neighborhood on Monday. Emergency responders and fire fighters are currently cleaning up the remaining fuel.

If you saw or heard the explosion, we'd love to hear about your experience. Just post a comment below.

Special thanks to Will Workman for the viewer video attached to this story!