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Auto Shop Fire Kills Four, Five Escape

May 12, 1986

IVYTON, Ky. (AP) _ A 55-gallon drum of racing fuel exploded in an auto-repair garage, destroying the building and killing four people, including an 11-year-old boy, authorities said.

Five people escaped from the sheet-metal building after the high-octane fuel was apparently ignited Saturday by sparks from a cutting torch, state police said.

Smoke still rose Sunday from the black, twisted rubble of the garage in a green valley in Magoffin County in eastern Kentucky.

Adam D. Marshall, 29, whose family owned the garage, was hospitalized in satisfactory condition Sunday. Marshall, pastor of Blue Lick Pentecostal Church at Ivyton, told a rescue worker he thought he had his son by the hand as he fought his way clear of the flames.

″He had hold of his son’s hand,″ said Lt. Paul Howard of the Magoffin County Rescue Squad. ″But his arms and hands were all third-degree burns. He lost all feeling in them. He thought he had his son with him. But he didn’t.″

Brandon N. Marshall, 11, was among the four dead.

Members of the Marshall family, who also worked at local surface coal mines, did auto repairs and worked on race cars in the 40-by-50 foot sheet metal garage building, Howard said.

At the time of the blast, nine people were in the garage preparing a ″Hobby Stock″ car for dirt-track racing Saturday night at Salyersville.

Carter Conley, captain of the rescue squad, said one squad member arrived within a minute or two after the fire started.

″It was totally involved and everything was melting,″ Conley said. ″The fire just consumed the whole place within seconds.″

Magoffin County Coroner Luther Dean Dunn identified the other victims as Adam Marshall’s brother, Earl D. Marshall, 43, of Salyersville; Bobby Osborne, 27, of Ivyton, and Scottie Neil Prater, 16, of Ivyton.

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