County dispatchers received nearly 1,700 calls about the blast. Miraculously, nobody was seriously injured or killed.
Early reports suggested things were worse than they were. About 12:44 p.m., just three minutes after the first report of flames, authorities were told a Sissonville-area nursing home was involved in the blast. Emergency vehicles sped toward untold destruction. By 1:01 p.m., dispatchers knew the nursing home was untouched.
All told, county first responders' "after action" meeting Tuesday turned up few problems with the response.
Notably, officials were looking for a clearer way to tell schools what to do in the event of an emergency. Some suggested the terms "shelter in place" and "lock down" and instructions meant simply to make sure children were not allowed outside the school were too easily confused.
But, so few were the problems identified, one official had time to mention the slow-brewing coffee pot that struggled to quickly supply coffee to first responders on the scene.
C.W. Sigman, county fire coordinator, said the county's response was clean and quick because so many of the emergency officials have worked with each other for years.
"It was a bunch of friends helping each other out," Sigman said.
The night of the explosion, Rick McElhaney, a coordinator for Metro 911, went looking for exciting radio traffic for TV stations to air. He had trouble finding any. That's a sign responders maintained their composure amid the conflagration.
"It was picture perfect — it was a pain in the butt to find some traffic that was real excited," McElhaney said. "Everything was just by the book."