BREAKING NEWS – Explosion and Fire in Jensen, Utah

Jensen, UT – An explosion in the Ashley Valley Industrial Park has destroyed 1 industrial building and severely damaged 8 eight others. Two homes in the area also received moderate damage.

The explosion occurred in a facility operated by Adler Hot Oil Service. At this time there are no reports of fatalities or injuries. The explosion was felt in all parts of the Vernal, Naples, Jensen area (and as far away as Lapoint) with many calls being received by central dispatch.

First reports of the explosion were received at approximately 00:13. Fire crews arrived on scene and immediately began to search the area surrounding the explosion. An evacuation order was issued by incident commander Jeremy Raymond, Director Uintah Fire District at approximately 00:30 for all persons within ½ mile radius of the explosion.

Red Cross (& the Uintah CERT team) opened a temporary shelter for any displaced persons at Vernal Middle School. Those individuals who may need assistance during this evacuation may contact the local Red Cross representative at 435-828-8563.

At this time crews have brought the fire that occurred following the explosion under control. The evacuation order is expected to remain in place until at least 12:00 noon on March 2. Crews are continuing to deal with a 1000 gal propane tank that is leaking as a result of the explosion. (At 3:30 am CERT & Red Cross Responders had no displaced evacuees and closed the temporary shelter at Vernal Middle School. However if evacuees need assistance in the morning they should call the above Red Cross representative hotline for help.)

Fire crews from Jensen Fire Department, Vernal Fire and Naples Fire responded. The Uintah County Sheriffs office was assisted by Utah Highway Patrol, Naples City, Vernal City in effecting the evacuation. Gold Cross ambulance provided medical stand by for crews on scene.

The Utah Sate Fire Marshal has dispatched investigators to assist with the investigation of the explosion.

Uintah County Office of Emergency Management would like to extend a thank you to the Uintah School District, the Uintah Basin CERT Team and the Red Cross for their assistance with this event.

Press note: A press conference is scheduled to take place at 09:00 this morning. Further updates will be made available as soon as they are available.

Tal Ehlers Emergency Manager tehlers@uintah.utah.gov 435-828-5088 cell

Chief Todd Wallis jensenfire@easilink.com 435-790-1977 cell

Information in () added by Joni Crane of the CERT team who assisted at the shelter and provided personal information from friends in Lapoint.