Man dies after explosion in Cleveland County

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Family members say they are in shock after a man was killed in an explosion Thursday morning in Cleveland County.

Sixty-one year-old William Dennis Thornton was burning debris about 11 a.m. in his backyard on Stick Elliott Road when he was killed, according to family members.

They tell FOX 46 Charlotte that one of the piles had gone out and that Thornton threw gasoline on to the pile, which exploded, killing him.

Thornton’s family is now warning others to be safe when burning debris.

“Be very, very careful and don’t use gas, never use gas. There’s other means of starting it,” Thornton’s son-in-law, Douglas Mullins, said.