MASON, Tenn. — A gas station and grocery store in Mason went up in flames Thursday afternoon after an 18-wheeler crashed into it.
It happened around 3:30 p.m. at Eddie's Cash and Carry on Highway 70 at Highway 59.
A witness told WREG he heard three explosions and saw the 18-wheeler make impact with the store after another 18-wheeler failed to yield and the first driver tried to swerve out of the way.
"It blowed up. It made a big boom about three times," said Kevontis Brown.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed this account and said a man in one of the 18-wheelers was ejected from his vehicle and was airlifted to Regional Medical Center in Memphis.
Eddie Loeman, who owns the store, said all four of the employees inside the store made it out safely through the back.
Loeman said he was out of town at the time and arrived just in time to see firefighters putting out the last of the flames -- and the last of 20 years' worth of memories.
"Everything is gone. Everything is gone," Loeman said.
“It’s breaking heart. It’s not for me, it’s for community here because I’m the only one [that] serves the community."
The town's only other gas station, which happens to lie across the street, burned down last year.
"We can’t keep a store. Now we got to go to Arlington and ....to get gas. It’s just – just pray for Mason," Brown said.
"It's gonna take a minute to build it back," Loeman said. "It's gonna be OK, thank God."