A barbecue grill supplied by a 20 pound portable propane cylinder has developed a leak at a loose connection and has ignited.
The tank is being heated by direct flame impingement from the fire at the loose connection and has caused the relief valve to operate.
The burning barbecue grill is located next to a garage which is attached to a home. Fire is threatening to extend to the structure.
Portable propane cylinders are widely used for small hand torches, barbecue grills, weed burners, space heaters, etc. They are usually refilled at cylinder filling stations and transported home and hooked up by the user.
Portable cylinder capacities range from .93 pounds to 95 pounds.
Cylinders generally have one fitting welded in the service end of the cylinder. The fitting is threaded to a female normal pipe thread (NPT) and is raised above the surface of the cylinder. One combination service valve and pressure relief valve are installed in the fitting.
A 20- to 95-pound class portable cylinder can be adequately cooled with 50 gallons per minute (gpm). This can be provided through a 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 inch attack line flowing 100 gpm or higher. Once the tank is adequately cooled, the internal pressure will drop and the relief valve should reset.
The primary attack crew can then approach the cylinder under the protection of handlines and manually close the tank valve. The approach should be perpendicular or opposite the relief valve discharge.
A second handline should be used as a back-up line to initially cover the approach of the crew closing the valve on the tank and to protect exposures.
Once the tank valve is closed, cooling water should be maintained to prevent reignition. The back-up crew can then shift to structural firefighting operations as required.
This is a top-perspective view of the incident area. Its purpose is only to get the general idea of the incident and surroundings.
In this section, we present an animated version of the incident.