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Sambo's in Willacoochee rocked by explosion heard several blocks away

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A gas leak caused an explosion that rocked Sambo's in Willacoochee Sunday afternoon. Photo courtesy of the Atkinson County Fire Department A gas leak caused an explosion that rocked Sambo's in Willacoochee Sunday afternoon.

It may be the hottest summer in a long time — and maybe the hottest summer ever — but the temperature didn’t have anything to do with an explosion at Sambo’s in Willacoochee Sunday afternoon.



According to the Atkinson County Fire Department and Emergency Management Agency, there was a gas leak at the walk-up hamburger restaurant. Something in the air conditioning unit caused the gas to ignite, causing an explosion that could be heard several blocks away.



Firefighters responded quickly and shut off the gas. Once the gas leak was off, firefighters went inside to make sure there were no victims in the building. The explosion caused extensive damage to Sambo’s but no injuries were reported. The Atkinson County Fire Department credited firefighter Joshua Branch with responding quickly and gaining control of the situation.



Samba’s, located at the corner of Highway 135 and McCranie Avenue, has long been an institution in Willacoochee. It looks like the popular eatery will be closed for some time until the damage can be repaired.

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