Tractor-trailer explodes into flames near Brooksville Walmart, store reopens to Black Friday shoppers

Hernando County

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — Deputies say an explosion and fire destroyed two full semi-trucks and two empty trailers near Walmart in Brooksville on Black Friday, temporarily shutting the store down on what’s usually one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

According to a spokesperson for the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy who was stationed in the parking lot of the Walmart on Cortez Boulevard heard an explosion near the west end of the store just after 5 a.m. The deputy called for back-up and help from the fire department as he responded to the area of the fire.

When the deputy got to the back west end of the store, the sheriff’s office says he found a tractor-trailer on fire near two other tractor-trailers. The deputy checked to make sure no one was in the tractor-trailers and was able to find and remove someone from one that was not on fire.

Fire crews got to the scene and found heavy smoke and fire behind the store in the produce loading dock, according to a spokesperson for Hernando County Fire.

While fire crews fought the flames, deputies helped evacuate the store because of how close the tractor-trailers were parked to the building.

The fire rescue spokesperson says the fire was under control by 5:36 a.m. Video from WFLA photojournalist Paul Lamison showed the tractor-trailer still smoldering around 7:30 a.m.

Walmart stayed closed as crews fought the fire and all entry points to the store were shut down. The store reopened to shoppers around 8:30 a.m.

Deputies say no one was injured in the explosion or the fire. Fire rescue officials say the flames destroyed both semi-trucks and the two exposed empty trailers.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by Walmart Corporation.

“Our Brooksville store was evacuated this morning for roughly three hours due to an isolated fire in the loading dock,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We’re grateful no costumers or associates were hurt and appreciate the quick response of local firefighters.”

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