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Worker injured in blast returns
WEBfire cleanup 6 jd
Some of the motorcycles stored outside were destroyed, but most of the inventory at Polaris of Cumming was not damaged by a fire earlier this week. The business has reopened.

An employee injured in an explosion Wednesday at a recreational vehicle business returned to work Thursday.

Cole Penland, 19, was taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth for minor burns suffered during the explosion that occurred about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at Polaris of Cumming. (click for map)

Polaris owner, Jeff Whaley, said he planned to reopen the Veterans Memorial Boulevard business today. He said Penland was at the store Thursday, helping clean up.

“He’s fine, he’s back at work,” Whaley said.

Penland declined to comment.

Whaley explained that Penland was working near the tank when it blew up. After hearing the explosion, employees rushed from another part of the store to check on him.

“He was just standing there basically in shock and he wouldn’t talk,” Whaley said.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Kevin Wallace said the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but is not considered suspicious.

Whaley said it appears that an oil tank ignited and the explosion caused oil to run downhill underneath vehicles kept on crates.

“It was like a flamethrower basically, and it just went one after the other,” he said.

Whaley said the fire did not penetrate the exterior walls of the business, which had little damage inside. He estimated that 22 vehicles were burned.

“It could’ve been worse," he said. "But as long as nobody got hurt bad, that’s the main thing. And obviously with insurance we can replace the stuff. We’ll be up and running [today].”

Whaley commended the fire department for its hard work.