Blaze Consumes Lube Warehouse


A fire Monday morning caused extensive damage to a 15,000 square foot warehouse in Tupelo, Miss., used by distributor Dutch Oil/Victory Marketing to store a variety of lubricant products.

Jimmy Avery, chief of operations for the Tupelo Fire Department, said the fire started at about 9:30 a.m., and took firefighters from six different stations about three hours to get under control. One Victory employee suffered minor burns from the fire, according to Avery.

They had 55-gallon drums of mineral spirits and hydraulic fluids, 5-gallon buckets of transmission fluids and hydraulic fluids, and on the outside they had used motor oil, Avery told Lube Report. You name it, they had it. If there was a petroleum product, they had it.

Avery said the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Tupelo fire marshals office. The warehouse damage was too extensive to save the building. Its going to be torn down, he said.

In 2000, Morris Petroleum of Jackson, Miss., embarked on a joint venture with Joe and Rex Gillis of Dutch Oil Co. in Columbus, Miss., to purchase the assets of J.P. Mills Inc., a Shell distributor in Tupelo.

The Tupelo business, which operates under the names of Victory Energy LLC and Victory Marketing LLC, consists of 21 convenience stores in northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama. The Morrises and Gillises consolidated their convenience store operations in Victory Marketing in 2002. Joe Morris Jr., president of Morris Petroleum, is current chairman of the board for the National Association of Shell Marketers.

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