Private company to investigate Eden KFC explosion

EDEN, N.C. -- Three weeks after a massive blast site destroyed an Eden KFC restaurant, investigators returned to the explosion site off N.C. 14.

Eden Police Chief Gregory Light said Friday that an engineer from a private company was on site to take a look at a gas valve pulled from the debris.

"An explosion like this is so far beyond our expertise, we’re actually working with that company to try and figure out how much gas was coming in through the gas lines, stuff that we just can’t do,” Light said.

The engineer took blueprints of the restaurant, photos of the damage and the valve itself for further testing in a lab.

"It’s extremely valuable because this is so far beyond our expertise," Light said. "That’s why we’ve got great partnerships with the state and the federal agencies, and everybody that’s been assisting us in this investigation, especially this engineering company that came in to help us.”

No one was hurt in the July 11 explosion, but it sent debris into the road and damaged nearby businesses.

“I’m hoping they get it going because I’m ready for them to get back in business. I enjoyed their restaurant being right next to my store,” said Jerry Woodall, who owns a golf shop next to the explosion site.

Woodall explained that the explosion damaged the siding of his store and impacted about a third of his roof.

"Hopefully, from what I understand next week they can start assessing the damage to our building,” Woodall said.

The blast is being investigated as a gas explosion, but crews have not yet pinpointed the exact cause.

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