Multiple Issues Cited for Wash. Training Prop Fireball

Firefighters sprayed jet fuel instead of water on a training prop last year.


A combination of problems -- not one issue -- led to firefighters spraying jet fuel instead of water on a prop during training last year in Washington.

That's the conclusion of Kent Regional Fire Authority Battalion Chief Kevin Garling, who investigated the Oct. 25 training mishap.

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Garling noted that the academy staff was aware there was a problem with the aircraft crash prop. And, Port of Seattle crews from Sea-Tac quit their training, according to  KING5.

They came back four days later with assurances that the problem was fixed. But, it wasn't.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries when the fireball erupted when they sprayed the fuel instead of water on the prop.

Garling said he determined that there was a lack of knowledge about how to run the State Patrol Fire Academy's out-dated oil-water separator. The workers who ran it for years had retired, the station reported.

That's why the fuel ended up in both the prop's suppression system and in the hoses, he concluded.

The $100,000 aircraft crash training prop was destroyed, and the academy has spent a half million dollars cleaning the fuel from the soil.