Kennedale, TX Gas Tank Explosion, Aug 1968


Kennedale, Tex. (UPI) -- Mrs. Glynn Grimes looked down the road running in front of her home and could see it all -- the barkless trees, the blackened highway, the melted truck tires, the charred service station.
She stared at the devastation brought by the explosion of a gasoline tank truck Wednesday which injured 28 persons.
"It looked like hell," she said.
The explosion came as a tank truck filled the overhead storage tank at the Red Ball gas station on U.S. highway 287 just south of Kennedale.
Six of the injured were reported in critical condition at Fort Worth and Dallas hospitals including television newsman STEVE PIERINGER of KRLD-TV in Dallas.
PIERINGER was standing less than 50 yards from the station when he was engulfed in the huge fireball.
Kennedale volunteer Fire Chief Tom Lowery said PIERINGER "walked about 60 or 70 yards down the highway and then collapsed. He was just a white ash from head to toe. All his clothes except his undershorts were burned off."
The explosion occurred as firemen were trying to put out a small fire which erupted at the service station about 10 minutes earlier.
The blast lifted the 6,000 gallon storage tank 30 feet in the air, spun it end over end and dropped it on a large trailer house next to the station. The trailer was destroyed, but no one was in it at the time of the explosion.

Kingsport Times Tennessee 1968-08-01


Larry Young

Larry Young officer on patrol the one burned and hospitalized underwent several skin grafts and surgeries was my father.


Larry Young my father was the officer that was burned in this explosion.


My Uncle Dulen Bean was one of the fireman at this fire.

Gasoline Storage Tanks

It has been my understanding that this fire was the reason laws were made that gas tanks be buried after this time. Would invite all references to this and the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce may have more on this fire.

Red Ball Gas House Kennedale Texas

My Dad was a Warrant Officer for Kennedale P.D. I was just a kid,19 years old. but was commissioned as a Deputy Warrant Officer. We were both there. Dad and I both rode to JPS with Mr. Peringer and a Kennedale Officer Ladd. Our burns were pretty bad, but nothing compared to some others. Mr. Peringer as bad as he was hurt, provided directions to JPS. I will remember it always. It looked like the sun dropped in the middle of the Mansfield Highway.

My Uncle was a Fireman there

My Uncle Dulen Bean was one of the volunteers severely burned in this fire. While he was on fire as I remember, he drove a firetruck through a fence to reduce the danger of another explosion. I was only eleven years old but remember seeing him in the hospital, Harris I think, not much able to communicate. He had scares the rest of his life. Some might remember him having the Florist on Main Street in Mansfield while my grandmother lived across from Lee's grocery. He was a florist for fifty years here in Texas.

PMe my two brothers,

PMe my two brothers, aunt,cousin was in the what my family called the fire it was our yard the news man was in he blowen through our fence.Iwas five and remember it like it just happen .my mom and dad was buying our first new car that is way my aunt was at our house she gave birth six hours after the explosion. She had third degree burn 80% of her body. I remember oil cans going. Off like rocket,s that was just the start when the tanks. explo.the firecheif picked me up everyone was runing when he put me down he told me to run and don't look back when it was over i had nothing left on my body no hair no pants so five of us did not look the same the smell was bad any one wants to know more reach me at

Kennedale TX Gas Tank Explosion

My father, Andrew "Mike" Mitchell, was Kennedale Chief of Police at that time. Steve Pieringer died of his injuries as did the Mansfield, TX Fire Chief. My father wasn't on duty, but one of his officers, Larry Young, was burned in the incident. As I remember it, this incident was a driving force in getting the tanks underground.

Red Ball Gas Station, Kennedale, TX

My father, A.C. "Mike" Mitchell, was Chief of Police in Kennedale when this happened. Fortunately, he was at home, but Officer Larry Young was on scene and suffered minor burns. Steve Pieringer of KRLD-TV died later that evening of his burns, as did the Mansfield TX Fire Chief. This incident was also the impetus for burying all tanks at gas stations.