The Wichita Falls Fire Department says a crude oil tank fire has been extinguished. Plains All American Pipeline officials say the fire was discovered on a 60-foot tank at the station on the 2100 block of Harding Street. All personnel and contractors have been accounted for and the staff is working with first responders, according to officials. According to WFFD officials, 5.04 million gallons of crude oil caught on fire.
Crews almost had the fire out using foam but it reignited and around 10:30 a.m. had burned between 6 and 8 feet of crude oil from the tank, according to the WFFD. firefighters had to be pulled off because there is only one narrow catwalk without a railing to get to the top of the tank and there was not enough foam to keep it down, according to the WFFD. A call for more foam and trucks that specialize in these type of fires was made and crews are on their way from Houston and Beaumont.
Air levels in the area are being monitored in the event toxins pollute the air too much where it would be unsafe. No injuries have been reported. The road will remain blocked off until the fire is extinguished, which could take a day or two, according to WFFD. There is no threat of an explosion, according to WFFD officials. Mark Kennedy, who lives near the tank said he is worried about his property and his neighbor’s.
“This right here is kind of scary, because it’s got crude oil and all that, and I don’t know how many gallons are in there,” said Kennedy. “If the wind changes all we need is one spark.” Wichita Falls fire crews said they believe during the replacement of the vapor seal on the tank the crude oil inside it caught on fire.