Propane tank, acetylene tank cause of northwest area fire - The Explorer: News

Propane tank, acetylene tank cause of northwest area fire

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Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 12:41 pm | Updated: 5:36 pm, Thu May 8, 2014.

Northwest firefighters responded to the 5400 block of North Camino De La Tierra just before 11 a.m. after receiving numerous 9-1-1 calls about some type of fire. Callers were unsure of what was burning as most callers were unable to see the actual building from the roadway in which they were traveling on when they called 9-1-1.

Crews arrived to find a 20 X 40 foot metal framed workshop well involved in fire. The workshop contained significant amounts of flammable liquids and pressurized gas cylinders.

First arriving firefighters and deputies with the Pima County Sherriff’s Department quickly evacuated three mobile homes to the north of the fire building as flames were growing in size and spreading rapidly.

The homes evacuated were along Jusnic Circle which is just off Camino De LA Tierra. Initial arriving crews also placed hose lines in operation to keep the fire from spreading to the residence of the workshop owner. This home was in close proximity to the fire building. Firefighters were able to stop the fire from reaching the interior of the home; however the exterior of the home did suffer minor heat and fire damage. All of the belonging and family keepsakes of the coupe were unaffected.

Firefighter also found that several of the pressurized gas cylinders had ignited after the pressure relief devices opened as a result of the heat. A propane tank and Acetylene tank both had internal temperatures that rose above safe limits causing the pressure relief devices to open. This is a safety device that allows a pressurized gas cylinder to relieve excessive pressure when exposed to high temperatures and or fire. The escaping gas did ignite and firefighters were able to bring the flames under control. An evacuation distance of 100 feet in all directions was maintained while the tanks were venting and on fire.

The fire was brought under control within 17 minutes of the arrival of the first engine company. 26 firefighters staffing several pieces of apparatus responded to the scene.

Fire cause investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire due to the significant amount of damage.

Damage estimates were put at $5,000.00

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