Report finds no criminal activity in Jan. 19 incident

Jan. 30, 2013 — The Cabarrus County Fire Marshal’s Office has completed their investigation of an explosion that occurred on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 3730 Barrier Store Road, Mt. Pleasant. The report’s findings suggest no indication of criminal activity related to the specific incident. The Fire Marshal’s Office will cite the owner of the property where the incident took place with violations to Cabarrus County’s Fire Prevention and Protection Code Ordinance.

Witness interviews helped investigators identify multiple contributing factors that led to the incident.

The report states, “Based on the statements provided and the examination of a 24 oz. aluminum can collected by the Sherriff’s Office on the night of the incident, there was more than one contributing factor that led to the explosion causing the injury of the three teenagers. Un-knowingly to the gentleman pouring the fuel into the fire, there was an improperly discarded re-sealable 24 oz. aluminum can in the barrel. As the diesel fuel was poured onto the fire, it flared up increasing the heat level within the barrel and within the sealed can. This caused the sealed aluminum can to explode. Burning and un-burning fuel was propelled into the air hitting several people.”

It continues, “There have been no indications made known to the Fire Marshal’s Office that there was any malicious or willful intent to cause harm to any one person or persons.”

The Cabarrus County Fire Marshal’s and Sheriff’s offices met with and shared the results of the investigation with the families of the victims.

“There are lives permanently changed from the events that happened that night,” said Cabarrus County Fire Marshal Steven Langer. “Over the last 10 days, our office has worked to give the incident the due diligence that the victims and their families deserve. We thank them for their involvement in the investigation and wish them a successful recovery.”
Because there was no indication of criminal activity, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s office will not pursue arrests in the case.