FARGO - Firefighters allowed a large propane tank fire to burn itself out after an apparent explosion in a south Fargo garage that injured one man.
Five fire crews were scrambled to a report of a residential fire at 1331 14th St. S. about 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22, after receiving reports of a possible explosion from several neighbors.
“We just heard a loud boom and a guy was running out of the garage,” said Stacy Quast, who lives across the street from the home.
One man, whom authorities did not identify, was taken away by ambulance with minor burn injuries, said Battalion Chief Bruce Anderson. He believed the man had been taken to Sanford Medical Center for treatment.
Another person in the house was not injured, Anderson said.
Flames roared from the windows of the garage and a propane tank burned at the back of the garage. Clouds of heavy gray-black smoke billowed into the sky as firefighters worked to knock down the flames.
By 10:15 a.m., firefighters were attacking one of the garage doors with a power saw, and shortly after, used chains and a fire department pickup to drag a burned car out of one of the garage stalls.
While the garage fire itself was extinguished relatively quickly, firefighters poured water on the burning propane tank for some time to keep it from blowing up, Anderson said.
The fire on the propane tank burned for about two hours before the tank emptied and was capped off.
If the 100-gallon tank had exploded, it would have been a much more serious situation, Anderson said.
Propane tanks of that size are typically used as a supplemental heating source, Anderson said.
The injured man was in the garage when the fire started, he said.
Brenda Dellaneva, a neighbor who lives two doors down, said she helped pull the injured man from the garage. She believed he was the 41-year-old son of the home’s owners.
The man was able to talk when he was taken to the hospital, Dellaneva said, adding that the man told her he was filling propane tanks when the fire started.
Dellaneva and another neighbor, Jodi Whitmore, also reported hearing a loud bang right before the fire.
The Fargo Fire Department estimated damage to the garage and contents at $40,000. Damage done to the exterior of the nearby home was estimated to be about $2,000.