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Firefighters put out fire on truck in West Fargo

WEST FARGO - A fire underneath a truck that was pulling a 500-gallon propane tank was safely extinguished Monday, May 9, the West Fargo Fire Department reported.Firefighters were dispatched about 11:25 a.m. to a report of a vehicle on fire with a...

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WEST FARGO - A fire underneath a truck that was pulling a 500-gallon propane tank was safely extinguished Monday, May 9, the West Fargo Fire Department reported.

Firefighters were dispatched about 11:25 a.m. to a report of a vehicle on fire with a propane tank in tow in the 2300 block of Main Avenue West, Fire Chief Dan Fuller said.

The first crew arrived on the scene about nine minutes later to find a Petro Serve Chevrolet 3500 service truck burning from underneath the frame, he said.

Fire crews sprayed foam on the fire and had it under control within four minutes, Fuller said, but the outcome could have been much worse.

"It could have been really bad. I'm happy it turned out the way it did," Fuller said. "If the wind had come from another direction, coming out of the east blowing west, it could have blown the flames on the tank."

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The tank was a residential tank being transported to a Petro Serve storage yard, Fuller said.

If pressure gets too great inside the tank, a blowout valve will release propane, he said.

"With the fire on there, it would be discharging like a giant blowtorch off the top of it," he said. "But eventually, the heat would overcome the ability to let the pressure go, and we would have what is called a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion. That was our main concern."

To prevent that, the department also dispatched a truck with a 2,000-gallon tanker of water to cool the propane tank if needed.

"We did not have to go with the extra water, but we had it there, just in case," Fuller said.

No propane was released from the tank, Fuller said. He said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Related Topics: WEST FARGOFIRES
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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