CHARLESTON, SC - Around 17:00 today, Charleston Fire Department dispatchers
received a 911 alarm from Allied Terminals on Greenleaf Street in Downtown
Charleston. They informed them that a farm tank had caught fire. The tank
was filled with liquid asphalt. E9, E8, T4, & C3 were sent on the initial
alarm.


Upon arrival of E9, the Captain reported that there was in fact a fire at
the top of the tank and that the tank had started to rupture. He advised C3
that more equipment was needed. Dispatch notified E6 (which was in the
process of relocating to Station #9) to respond to the location. E9
stretched two 2.5" handlines to the base of the tank and began to cool the
sides. E8 arrived and laid E9 a supply line. A deluge gun was later placed
into operation by E9. E6 'stretched in' to the next closet hydrant and laid
out 2.5" to be played on the tank from a different side. E3 was relocating
when C3 ordered them to respond to the incident.


E3 'stretched in' as well and ended up with 3-2.5" handlines off and
playing on the north side of the fire. E15 (which had relocated to West
Ashley earlier for coverage while Westside units fought a brush fire) was
returning to the City when C2 advised them to come to the fire. E15 laid
lines to a hydrant in the rear of the plant and placed a third deluge gun
into operation.


I am not sure the total number of handlines that were used, but I can tell
you that it was a lot of hose. The 'specialists' that work there running
the plant advised us not to put water inside the tank, but to cool the
outside of it and protect the exposed tanks on either sides. They would use
some sort of Nitrogen charge every now and then that would make an
'exploding' sound and cause a large amount of white smoke. This, along with
the cooling of the outside eventually helped put the fire out. The fire
couls be considered under control at approximately 19:30 or so (not
official).


This is the second time in the past 2 years that this sort of incident has
happened in the same complex. The last time, 2 aerial ladders were placed
into operation and even more handlines were used. I am not sure what was
the cause of either of these incidents.


Units responding-E3, E6, E8, E9, E15, T4, C2, C3, C4
Units relocating-E11, E12, E13, T5

J.T. BASS
CHARLESTON, SC
jbass@awod.com
http://www.charleston.net/org/cfd (CFD Unofficial Homepage)