Fire crews breathe sigh of relief following fire at power plant
OKLAHOMA CITY – Fire crews and employees at a power plant in Oklahoma City were faced with a scary situation on Thursday morning.
“Anytime you’re dealing with hazardous materials, that’s a very volatile situation,” said Batt. Chief Benny Fulkerson, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.
On Thursday morning, fire crews were called to the power plant near N.W. 10th and Morgan Rd. following a reported fire.
Investigators discovered that a tank, capable of holding 7,000 gallons of heating oil and glycerol, somehow caught fire.
Initially, their biggest fear was that the tank could explode. As a result, nearby businesses were evacuated as a precaution.
“We have to make very quick decisions as to how we’re going to deal with that,” Fulkerson said.
Fire crews decided a non-invasive approach was best, so they moved back to a safe distance with workers.
Although fire and smoke came pouring from the tank, firefighters say it was actually a good thing.
“When you’re dealing with gases in particular, you want to be able to see the fire, so that tells you where the gas is. So when the fire is out and you don’t see it, that’s when the gas is still leaking and you need to be concerned,” said Fulkerson.
As nearby businesses evacuated, fire crews made the decision to let the fire burn out.
When it was decided that the tank was not likely to explode, the only threat left to residents was the smoke that continued to pour out from the scene.
“We know where the fire is, we know what’s burning, we just don’t know how long it’s going to burn right now because we don’t know the extent of the gallonage of the product that’s still available,” Fulkerson said.
Nearby businesses were allowed to return to normal operations by Thursday afternoon.