Lightning strikes tanker, ignites fire
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“Heard a loud boom and three other loud pops,”
As heavy thunderstorms moved through the area Wednesday morning, a lightning strike is believed to have caused an explosion and fire at an oilfield yard in Dilley.
Dilley Volunteer Fire Chief Thomas Cook says the department was dispatched to the saltwater storage tank facility at 3:55 a.m. on Wednesday, August 24.
According to a report on the case, firefighters arrived at the yard, which sits near the intersection of Interstate 35, and FM 117 within six minutes to find a saltwater storage tank fully engulfed in flames.
“It took us nearly forty-five minutes to contain the fire,” Chief Cook said in a phone interview Monday. “It was difficult to fight the fire and battling the heavy storms.”
The flames caused other tanks stored in the facility to explode and destroyed two structures that were on the property. Cook reports the facility suffered a total loss.
The tanks are used to store saltwater, but according to Cook, also contain crude oil that was mixed in.
Reports show that at 5:09 a.m. the fire was under control.
“Before being paged out to the fire I heard a loud boom and then three other loud pops,” the fire chief said. “It was within seconds of hearing them that we received the page out.”
The Pearsall Volunteer Fire Department assisted in the Wednesday morning blaze.