Wood County Fire Marshal Randy Selman has pinpointed the exact cause of Sunday night’s fire at Pearce Petroleum in Mineola.

“I interviewed the owner of the property, and he was working on a riding lawnmower,” said Selman. “He had replaced the fuel filter and the fuel line and in doing so some of the gasoline from the lawnmower spilled out on to the ground. When he tried to start it, it wouldn’t start so he used some starting fluid and injected it into the carburetor and when he started it, it backfired and set the gasoline on fore that had spilled out on to the ground.”

A hazmat team remains on the scene today to clean up the contaminated soil. Officials advise the public that this has not affected water in the area.

While the Pearce Petroleum’s office building is a total loss, company officials say the business will resume operations as quickly as possible.

CLICK TO HEAR FROM RANDY SELMAN

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