Propane truck ignites at gas plant fire stopped from spreading

January 26, 1994|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff Writer

A truck loaded with four cylinders of propane caught fire outside a Taneytown gas company last night, but caused no damage to the plant.

The truck was parked in a locked compound outside the Ferrellgas plant in the 3600 block of Francis Scott Key Highway when the fire started, according to Mike Glass, assistant chief with the Taneytown fire company.

The driver had left the plant shortly before the fire broke out, he said.

It appears that the fire ignited in the motor of the truck, which belongs to the Ferrellgas company, Mr. Glass said.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before the 100-pound propane cylinders exploded, he said.

Mr. Glass said nobody was injured in the fire, and the gas plant wasn't damaged.

Neighbors reported an explosion in the plant area to the county's Emergency Operations Center at 5:37 p.m., said dispatcher Donald Jordan.

Firefighters from Taneytown were first on the scene, and seven more units from Carroll and Frederick counties and Adams and York counties in Pennsylvania responded to the fire, Mr. Jordan said. Nineteen pieces of fire equipment were at the scene.

By 5:55 p.m. the fire was under control and all units except Taneytown were released from the scene, Mr. Glass said.

Neighbors in the area said they heard four or five explosions outside the plant. Susan Small, 19, of Taneytown, who was visiting a house across the street from the plant, said she saw flames leap 15 to 20 feet above the truck.

"You could hear it popping," she said.

Mr. Glass said the popping sound was probably two truck tires that exploded before firefighters arrived.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal's office.

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