Explosion, fire erupts at Pick-N-Pull in Lakewood; Blast blows vendor 60 feet away

LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- An explosion and large fire erupted at the Pick-N-Pull auto salvage yard business in Lakewood Thursday.

"It felt like an explosion, like a bomb going off or something like that," said Julian Berger, who was searching for a car part just forty feet away from the blast.

The road in front of the store was shut down for several hours, and businesses around the area were evacuated, including Rollie's Tavern. Rollie Moore, the owner, initially thought it was an earthquake.

"When everything settled down and things weren't falling off the walls, we ran outside and this whole side of the area was just engulfed," said Moore.

West Pierce Fire & Rescue said the explosion occurred in a storage tank at Pick-N-Pull.

"It was reported that a gasoline vendor was there to pull gas out of the storage tank, which is routine," West Pierce Fire & Rescue said. "After he disconnected from the tank, a large explosion occurred from the tank behind the one he had previously been connected to.

"The vendor was blown 60 feet away from the tank and was able to get up and move his truck away from the fire. He was evaluated by medics at the scene and did not require medical treatment."

There were no reported injuries.

All of 112th Street in Lakewood was closed from South Tacoma Way to Steele Street for firefighting efforts.  Joint Base Lewis-McChord closed the McChord North Gate also.

The fire was deemed under control at 4:57 p.m., West Pierce Fire & Rescue said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.