3 killed in explosion, fire at Bowie County barn


BOWIE CO., Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Police are investigating an explosion and fire at a Bowie County barn that killed three people Tuesday evening.

It happened around 7:20 p.m. on County Road 4242, according to the Bowie County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies, along with Simms, DeKalb, Maud, and New Boston Volunteer Fire Departments were called to the scene and arrived to find a shop building on fire. The sheriff’s office says there were “structural indications that an explosion had ignited it.”

Firefighters found the three victims while they were putting out the flame.

The sheriff’s office has identified the three victims as the owners of the property, 60-year-old Steven Granbery, 55-year-old Cynthia Granbery, and 65-year-old William Barnes, all of Simms, Texas.

The victims’ neighbors called 911 after they heard the explosion and saw the fire. “There was nothing anybody could do, the barn was just totally in flames, they couldn’t go in there, it was really hot.”

According to the neighbors Granbery stored ammunition in the barn, and they could hear it going off from their property. They say they knew the Granberys for five years and the barn had a bar with tables where they would have barbecues or fish fries together. There was a small fire pit inside as well.

“It was terrible, terrible. The fire was really big and at first, we didn’t know they were in there and then we figured that out a lot later, no one could find them and then they found the bodies in there later, so, we were pretty upset. It’s kind of unbelievable and unreal right now and we’re still trying to figure out how this happened, and why it happened.”

Bowie County Fire Investigator Scottie Taylor along with Bowie County Sheriff’s Office Investigators Michelle Carrier and Captain David Biggar responded to investigate. Judge Mary Hankins ordered all three victims to be sent off for an autopsy.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. According to BCSO, there was no evidence of foul play found at the scene of the fire.

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