EDEN, N.C. — A KFC exploded in Eden during the night.
At about 12:40 a.m. Thursday morning, police responded to the site at 125 N.C. 14.
"We've actually searched the building and no one is inside the building which is great," said Eden Police Chief Greg Light.
According to police, the blast left almost all neighboring businesses damaged.
Chief Light said he felt the blast from two miles away.
Piedmont Natural Gas said a crew is on scene. Their first priority is to make sure first responders and people in the area are safe.
An employee told police that he was closing the restaurant last night when he and others smelled gas.
The manager reportedly tried to turn off the nozzle and called the gas company.
The employee came out to the area to pick up a drink and cigarettes and saw the moment the KFC exploded.
Officers say they do not know for certain what caused the explosion.
Eden Mayor Neville Hall said the city plans to put an excavator on site to begin clearing the remains of the building. Then crews can more easily investigate the cause.
According to the mayor, Piedmont Natural Gas plans to dig down to the gas line to check the pressure.
N.C. 14 was closed at the scene of the explosion but has since reopened.
A KFC spokesperson released the following statement to FOX8:
“We are devastated by this incident, but most importantly we are grateful that all of our restaurant team members are safe and no one was injured. We would like to thank the Eden police and fire crews, for their response and continued support. We are cooperating directly with the investigating agencies as they work to determine the cause.”
12:30 a.m. — KFC explodes.
12:40 a.m. — Police and fire crews arrive on the scene.
11 a.m. — Crews begin breaking down building.
11:33 a.m. — Road remains closed.
Around 3:30 p.m. — Road reopened.
Read more about the Eden KFC explosion:
- SkyView8 captures video of Eden KFC after explosion
- Photos show scene shortly after explosion at KFC in Eden