Report of a small propane tank inside a van that is leaking. It has a connecting hose to the big propane tank at the southeast corner of the Shell Station at 101 and Highway 20. Fire-Rescue crews are enroute. There is a slight breeze from the south, meaning that any escaping propane will move northward from the scene. The breeze is 10mph gusting to 20mph…so the gas is probably dispersing pretty well which lessens the danger of an explosion. Certainly no smoking is allowed in the area because escaping propane can be trapped in small areas and reach a density that could be volatile if somebody was walking by with a lit cigarette.
Fire Chief Rob Murphy says the fixture on the small tank mounted inside the van can’t be fixed, so they’re allowing the gas to escape until the tank is empty. It may take a while so all foot and vehicle traffic in the area are being kept away from the tank until it’s empty.
Chief Murphy says the van owner had about a gallon of liquified gas pumped into his van tank when he detected the sound of a leak. Chief Murphy said when the van owner pulled the hose away from the tank the “check valve,” that’s supposed to close the tank off in the van, failed to completely close. And so the gallon of liquified gas from the van spilled onto the pavement. So all they could do was to let it all drain out. Being just one gallon, it didn’t take long.
The small tank is empty. No more gas is coming out. Chief Murphy says the area is now safe again and all fire-rescue units are headed back to their stations.