Monday, October 20, 2008

Diesel tank fire allowed to burn itself out


Firefighters stepped back and allowed a diesel storage tank that caught fire near Santa Maria yesterday to burn itself out after determining nothing else of value was threatened, fire officials said.

Crews arrived at 3399 Foxen Canyon Rd. after receiving reports of a small structure fire at a pump house on ranch property at approximately 11 a.m., County Fire Capt. Eli Iskow said. Flames destroyed the 10-foot by 10-foot shed and spread to an adjoining 1,000-gallon diesel storage tank.
“For safety reasons, we are letting the tank vent and burn itself out,” Capt. Iskow said. “It’s burning from the vents on top of the tank and safety calls for stepping back from this fire since nothing else is threatened by it.”
The tank contained an estimated 400 gallons of diesel fuel when the fire started and officials expected the blaze to send smoke into the air for up to several hours. Capt. Iskow noted that had firefighters attempted to douse the flames, water runoff would have polluted the nearby area.
Crews isolated the area and blocked access to the property, but did not shut down any roads, he added. Although a fire investigator responded to the scene, the cause and origin of the fire remains unknown. No injuries were reported.

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