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Moments in Time: Buddy’s Gulf

Three workers were killed and one was injured in an explosion and fire at Buddy’s Gulf station in the Patrick Street Plaza on April 17, 1978.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On April 17, 1978, I was standing in the showroom of a car dealer at the Patrick Street Plaza, looking through the showroom window toward Seventh Avenue when an explosion rocked the area so hard that the window bowed in and almost touched my nose.

I jumped into my car and headed in that direction. When I arrived, there was no one around. Nothing but this huge fireball coming from a large pit at Buddy’s Gulf station.

Soon firefighters arrived, but they hooked up to a dry hydrant because the explosion damaged the water line. Other trucks arrived and foam was laid down by “Big John,” Charleston’s snorkel truck, which finally put out the fire.

Three workmen were killed and one injured.

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