On The Job Ohio: Five-Alarm Fire Destroys Oil Company In Pike Township

n Thursday, April 19, 2012, a five-alarm fire destroyed the R.D. Holder Oil Co. in Pike Township, Clark County, OH. Before the fire was extinguished, more than 125 firefighters from 38 departments in Clark, Champaign, Greene, Madison, Miami and Montgomery...


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At 2 P.M., the Ohio Fire Chiefs Emergency Response Plan (OFCERP) was activated to provide fill-in coverage for eight departments in Clark County that had completely depleted their resources. Manpower and apparatus from Fairborn, Huber Heights, Miami Township, Silver Creek, Spring Valley, Sugar Creek Township, Xenia City and Xenia Township provided coverage.

King declared the fire under control at 4:54 P.M. The no-fly zone was canceled at 4:55, the shelter-in-place order was lifted at 5:04 and the OFCERP was canceled at 6 P.M. Collapsed building debris covered many hot spots, preventing crews from extinguishing them. Pike Township Public Works supplied a backhoe that was used on side D to remove debris and a trackhoe from Clark County removed debris on side B. These efforts let firefighters access the hot spots. Mutual aid units began being released at 6:17 P.M. The last Pike Township units left the scene at 1:16 P.M. on April, 20.

 

Conclusion

Damage was estimated at $2 million to the building and $900,000 to the contents. Weather conditions at the time of the fire were sunny with the temperature at about 70 degrees and 5-mph winds. One firefighter was injured. No civilians were injured. More than 5,600 fish and other animals died as a result of contamination in an unnamed tributary of Donnels Creek.

It was determined that a static discharge during the transfer of a flammable liquid from a storage tank to the fuel truck ignited the fire. The fire progressed from the fuel delivery truck back inside the building to the storage tanks on the C side of the building. The fire spread rapidly, engulfing the entire facility. n