HOUSTON A series of explosions rocked a north Houston oil services repair company late Monday morning.
All 20 of the workers inside the building at the time made it out safely, but there is significant damage to the building.
Even the hottest day of the year so far can t compete with the heat inside Stabiltec, located in the 16400 block of Aldine Westfield.
You hear it first a lot of backfire and popping that is kinda typical, but I looked back and you could see a flame shooting out, said Dustin Carney, a worker inside at the time.
Cameron Ridgeway was on the other side of the room from the leaking tank.
You literally have seconds to act whenever a tank is on fire like that. I could blow up at any time, Ridgeway said.
Carney is also the safety manager for the company.
Instantly went into that panic mode, you know aright let s go! Everybody out! he said.
The fire grew fast, but the company has planned for emergency situations and put that to use.
Witnesses heard at least six separate explosions with each one causing more and more damage to the building.
Workers had just one thing on their minds.
Just run for the hills you know. Take off! Get away as fast as you can, Ridgeway added.
Not just from inside Stabiltec, Javier Vazquez works in the neighboring business which shares a driveway.
I work on this side and I saw people running out of the building. Then I look and I saw the flames going out of the tank, Vazquez said.
He took cover inside his office about 100 feet away.
Investigators said it is likely that a valve on a tank failed starting the chain reaction.
Acetylene is a very volatile gas that is used primarily for welding.
All it takes is a good enough friction and it is gone, Carney said.
The company repairs oil field equipment and uses plenty of the gas on any given day.
It definitely was not an average day today, Carney said.
The rear of the building is nearly completely destroyed.
There is evidence of tanks flying through walls and the entire back wall blown out by the force of the explosions.