|Underground fuel tank fire burns itself out without injury|
|July 09, 2015 Jerry Purvis|
What could have been a disaster was averted early Monday morning when an explosion and fire occurred at a bulk fuel station at the Paul Reed Construction site at 7th Street and Country Club Road in Gering.
The fire above a 10,000 gallon underground fuel tank was reported just before 7:20 a.m. and members of the Gering Fire Department were dispatched to the scene. The Scottsbluff Fire Department was also dispatched for mutual aid.
Gering Fire Chief Jay Templar said all they know so far was that it was a vapor explosion at the diesel pumps. “We assume there was some kind of leak in the lines or in the tank itself that allowed the vapor to build up,” he said. “When people were fueling up, it might have been an electrical short that caused the spark.”
He said a ball of fire came out of the gas pump and another explosion in vault itself. There were no reported injuries.
Templar said by the time they arrived, there were no flames, only smoke. Firefighters sprayed fire retardant foam on the structure as a precaution, but that was about it.
“It could have been a lot worse,” he said. “The fire marshal has already been here but their findings were undetermined. There’s the possibility of an electrical spark or static electricity, but we have no exact answer.”
The pumps have been shut off until the leak can be repaired.