1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking Venting Gas Friend or Foe

    Its another fully involved doublewide Trailer, Family all accounted for, Rural Fire so water is Limited until Mutual Aid Arrives, around Back you have a 500 gal Propane Tank 150 ft away venting with Blue Flames, no direct Impingement on the Vessel itself,, How would you Handel it?

    Here today for a Safer Tomorrow

  2. #2
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down


    I wonder which came first... suspecting some type of malfunction, either mechanical or helped along by a human, on the propane tank. Perhaps radient heat from the tank fire set the trailer ablaze. Hmmm... sounds like a job for the investigators.

    What sounds is it emmitting? A steady tone or rising pitch tone?

    IF steady tone, ride off the trailer and cool the tank (water applied to top of tank area, not the flames) w/ small stream (100gmp-ish) until the tank burns out or stops venting and stays stopped venting. STAY AWAY FROM THE ENDS!! GO IN FROM SIDES ONLY!! When more water arrives consider another cooling line and aslo hitting the remains of the trailer. GOAL: prevent a bleve.

    If the pitch is changing, particularly getting higher, GET THE HELL BACK AND TAKE COVER!!! That thing's gonna blow, and strategy should now be adjusted to hopefully hold the fire to the township of origin, as the vessel will likely become a flaming rocket and ignite a whole lotta fire!

    Just my humble opinions.

    Proud Member of IAFF Local 3133!

    Stay safe.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Where is the gas venting from the tank, the fill valve, line, regulator, relief valve? Is this an imaginary fire or did it occur?
    I'm like Truckie in that it seems odd. It would take a massive fire to heat a tank 150 feet from a fire to the point that it would relieve. That would not be a normal double wide fire's thermal output.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I realize that you are never to approach a propane tank from the end, BUT...I don't think your direction of approach will make much differece should the tank actually BLEVE. The expansion ratio of propane is what, about 270:1 or so? If that tank BLEVES, it would seem the only question would be would I rather be killed by the end of the tank striking me, or the fireball?! I really think my chances of outrunning the fireball and the resulting thermal wave once it ignites would by miniscule at best. Especially when I'm approaching to a point where streams from handlines would be effective.
    Don't get me wrong, I still only approach and allow my crews to approach from the sides of any of these tanks, but I just wonder what difference it really makes.
    By the way, 150' from the burning structure does seem to be quite a distance to cause the tank to overpressurize and vent.

    [This message has been edited by Steamer (edited October 02, 1999).]

    [This message has been edited by Steamer (edited October 02, 1999).]

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Had one next to a residence on a working fire vent because of the heat from burning siding upon arrival. Roaring like a train and then stop because the siding burned past it. Cooled it for a while. Scariest ten minutes at any fire I've been to. Great knock though, 1/2 the house off and stopped it in it's tracks. Stay low.

    [This message has been edited by resqb (edited October 02, 1999).]

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This was a actual Fire it occured at 04:30 and we were Second in Mutual Aid, The First Arriving Units had begun Cooling the Tank with 1 1/2 Lines x2 absolutly no attack on the Residence, the fire was Venting out of the Relief Valve, as it was supposed to, the Tank had been Completely full Two Days Prior, This was a HOT fire as the Fire Load was increased by the amount of Stuff in the Residence, I should have been clearer in my questions, Should you commit your water on a Tank that is functioning as it should or should you attempt to Cool the Fire thus the Tank will Cool and Discontinue Venting, there was no impengement on the Tank vapor space and in my opinion due to distance and wind Direction and Heat a combination attack with multi Lines could have Knocked that fire down effectively and the tank could have been cooled by another unit. Its been a while since I have seen a Fire that effected a Propane Tank so I am not sure of our Tactics on the Next one..

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