05-13-1999, 10:06 PM #1Truck 2Firehouse.com Guest
Million Dollar Toluene Flash Fire
Lancaster, Pa. A flash fire at the Flint Ink Co. building on the property of the R.R. Donnelley & Sons printing complex at 216 Greenfield Rd. on May 12, at 3:20 p.m. did over one million dollars in damage to the building and contenets. One worker was injured in the incident, he was transferring Toluene from a 10,000-gallon tank to a 55-gallon drum when a spark caused a flash fire. The worker suffered first-degree burns on his hands and dropped the hose carrying the Toluene, he fled the area allowing the Toluene to continue to flow from the hose. Five sprinkler heads operated, triggered by the heat, began to cover the Toluene spill with foam. An estimated 1000 gallons of Toluene was pumped onto the floor before the local electric company cut power to the pump. Firefighters entered the building about 4:00 p.m. and found about four inchs of Toluene and foam on the floor. The fire was extinquished at 4:25 p.m., some runoff did escape the building and ran about 300 yards before County Haz-Mat crews contained it. Estimated damage was $50,000 in machinery and a coating of black soot covered the interior of the 100-by-50 foot room. This would have been a major incident if not for the foam sprinkler system installed in the building that basicaly had the fire extinquished when the fire dept. arrived.
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