Incident Overview


A fire started in the kitchen area of a diner at an interstate highway truck stop at 8:10 a.m. The fire was reported via 911 at 8:13 a.m.

At 8:15 a.m., the fire department dispatched a first alarm assignment consisting of two Engine Companies and a Water Tanker. At 8:18 a.m., the first due engine arrives on the scene.

The company officer finds the diner evacuated, with heavy fire blowing out the windows at the rear of the restaurant. The cook tells the company officer that a grease fire started on the grill and spread into the exhaust duct. The fixed extinguishing system failed to activate.

While fire fighters begin establishing a water supply with the tanker, the company officer goes to the rear of the diner to size up the situation. The officer observes two 100 gallon propane tanks installed against the outside wall. Fire has burned through the wall of the diner and is venting to the outside.

While the propane tanks are not directly involved in fire at this time, the company officer is concerned that the fire is rapidly spreading and the propane containers will eventually become involved.

 

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Summary of Construction Features


A 100 gallon propane cylinder can typically hold a water capacity (w.c.) of 1,000 lb.

 

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Incident Action Plan


Tactical Objectives

  1. Cool the outside of the tank so that the internal cylinder pressure does not increase and activate the tank's pressure relief valve.

  2. Disconnect and remove the two 100 gallon cylinders from the rear of the diner so that they do not become involved in the fire.

Methods of Removing Cylinders

If there is evidence that the tanks have been exposed to flame impingement (blistering or discoloration of paint), hose lines should be used to cool the tanks before taking additional action.

If frost can be seen on the lower half of the tank, this is an indication that a large amount of gas has already been discharged from the tank by way of the pressure relief device. This may also be an indication that there has been a break in the gas line.

If there is evidence of overheating, DO NOT STAND IN FRONT OF THE RELIEF VALVE since it may open at any time to relieve the tank's internal pressure.

Before attempting to move the tank, the service valve should be closed by turning it clockwise. If the valve appears to be closed already, verification can be made by opening the valve slightly (counter-clockwise) and then closing it. This may alert you to the fact that the valve may be jammed open.

After closing the tank valve, the pigtail or copper tubing should be broken by bending the copper pigtail back and forth quickly. The broken ends should be bent backward on both ends of the copper tubing. NOTE: Service valve connections are left-on/right-off.

Two fire fighters in full protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) can safely move a 100 gallon tank by tipping the tank onto its side and rolling it out of the fire area. As the tank is being rolled, avoid standing over the head of the tank where the pressure relief valve is located. Remember, a 100 gallon propane tank can weigh up to 800 pounds. Be careful rolling tanks downhill.

 

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Additional Factors


Additional Factors to Consider for this Operation Include:

  1. Care should be taken to be sure that the tank\'s valve is actually closed and not accidentally opened while moving it. When a propane tank is in a horizontal position, opening the valve will allow liquid to escape. 1 part of liquid = 270 parts vapor. Use caution; liquid propane can cause freeze burns.

  2. Always return propane cylinders and tanks to their full upright position and secure them after they have been moved. The local propane dealer should be notified for technical assistance.

 

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 Incident Map


This is a top-perspective view of the incident area. Its purpose is only to get the general idea of the incident and surroundings.
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 Incident Video


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