Lightning Ignites Gasoline Tank

Lightning caused a major fire after it struck a three-million-gallon gasoline storage tank.


Sewaren, Woodbridge Township, NJ, June 11, 1996 Lightning struck a three-million-gallon gasoline storage tank. The resulting fire exposed nearby tanks that contained nearly 10 million gallons of gasoline. The Shell Oil tank was about three quarters full when it exploded. The cover was blown off...


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Sewaren, Woodbridge Township, NJ, June 11, 1996

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Photo by Michael Wainick
West Windsor Fire Company 1 pumps from the Arthur Kill to its Engine 8, "The Pride of Midtown," as part of a relay to bring additional water to the scene.


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Photo by Donald Wagner
Additional large-diameter hose is stretched into the complex. The facility housed 17 large tanks.

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Photo by Donald Wagner
Flames rose hundreds of feet into the air. The three-million-gallon tank was two-thirds full of gasoline.


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Photo by Donald Wagner
Firefighters hand stretch additional large-diameter hose into the area to supply water for cooling exposure tanks.

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Photo by Donald Wagner
Three engines and the FDNY fireboat Firefighter supplied additional water for cooling and a foam attack.


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Photo by Willie Cirone
The top of the tank folded in after the cover was blown off during the thunderstorm. Adjacent tanks started to glow red from the intense radiant heat.

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Photo by Willie Cirone
Several pieces of apparatus suffered cracked windshields. The first units were able to position within 50 feet of the tank.


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Photo by Willie Cirone
Shell Oil workers drained the gasoline into other tanks. About 200 people were evacuated from homes nearby.

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Photo by Willie Cirone
At the height of the fire, nearly 55,000 gpm were flowing onto the adjacent tanks to keep them cool.


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Photo by Keith Repace
Mutual aid from five counties, an FDNY fireboat and several FDNY battalion chiefs as foam coordinators and numerous industrial brigades assisted at the scene.

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Photo by Gabriel Greenberg
Smoke from the fire was visible for about 50 miles. Flames roared hundreds of feet in the air.

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Photo by George Fen
Carteret Snorkel and Woodbridge Truck 5 operate hose streams to cool adjacent exposed tanks.


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Photo by Willie Cirone
The fire burned for nearly 28 hours. It took 350 firefighters and 1,200 emergency workers to bring the situation under control.

Ohio, Texas Fuel Facilities Explode In Flames

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Photo by Eric Guilliams
Coshocton, OH, Jan. 22, 1996 Firefighters found seven oil tanks on fire, forcing them to close U.S. 36 and creating major traffic problems in eastern Coshocton County. Four departments assisted at the fire, which caused several explosions and huge fireballs. Three tanks exploded; all seven were destroyed.


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Photo by Jim Vasaldua
Dime Box, TX, July 14, 1996 Two men were killed and a steel rig was destroyed in a series of three explosions at a natural gas well. The heat of the fire was 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and hampered rescuers' recovery of one of the men killed. It was estimated to take from two to 10 days to extinguish the 40-foot-high fireball. The fire could be seen from 20 miles away at night. The location of the incident was 65 miles southeast of Austin. The gas well was roughly 8,700 feet deep.