Time of year: summer. Ambient temperature: 103 degrees. Relative humidity: 84 percent.
Location: Platesmouth, Nebraska Business: Confluence Gasses
About this creation
A propelyne tank has heated up and begun venting. Static electricity creates a source
of ignition for the flammable gasses.
Hearing an odd sound outside, a technician comes out to take a look.
He is terrified when he sees the flames shooting out of the compressed gas cylinder.
The tech runs back inside to call 911.
As the tech makes the call, more cylinders begin venting and catch fire.
The 911 operator told the tech to evacuate. Grabbing his boss, the men run for safety.
The Platesmouth VFD chief is buying pizzas for lunch at his day job.
Beep Beep Beep Beep
Platesmouth Fire and Rescue call, Platesmouth Fire and Rescue call. Report of a gas fire at Confluence Gasses 1424 South Brick Street. Reporting party states gas cylinders are venting fire. Repeat Platesmouth Fire and Rescue call at Confluence Gasses 1424 South Brick Street. 1209.
The chief is running for his personal vehicle.
With lights and sirens on he exits his parking spot onto Main Street.
Carefully, he passes a skateboarder.
The chief arrives onseen and is met by the tech and the manager.
As the chief gets on his bunker gear, the manager explains the issue. Engine One reports going in service as the chief requests mutual aid from Oak Creek.
Suddenly, one of the propelyne cylinders rockets away.
And clips a large propane tank.
As Engine One arrives, the fire has spread. Numerous flamable gas cylinders are ablaze aided by venting oxygen tanks.
Due to it being work hours, Engine One only had four crewmembers. While the lieutenant and a firefighter advance with a preconnected attack line, the engineer works the pump panel and another firefighter hooks the front intake up to the hydrant.
Rescue One and Squad One both arrive as the fire rages out of control.
The medics start to set up a rehab area as the cylinders begin to split.
Suddenly, an explosion sends gas cylinders rocketing skyward and knocks the attack crew down.
As the attack crew gets up, a terrible whistle eminates from the large propane tank. The chief, recognizing the warning signs of a BLEVE, immediately orders a full evacuation.
The crew of Engine One unhook the attack line as the chief drops the 5 inch.
With everything disconnected, its a race to get clear in time.
The whistling grows stronger and more tanks catch fire.
The large tank splits on a seam releasing huge quantities of highly volitile boiling gasses.
The gasses caught fire, producing one humungous fireball. Everything is flattened.
With the area devestated and the danger reduced, units from PVFD and Oak Creek move in to contain the wreckage. The incident took many more hours until it was completely under control. Thankfully, nobody was seriously hurt. One member of the attack crew that got knocked down suffered a mild concussion and many had cuts and scrapes. Rescue One suffered a dent from flying debris.
Love everything about this -- scenes, narrative. Makes you appreciate (i) the dangerous world we've created for ourselves, and (ii) the exceptional dedication and valor of volunteer firemen. Just one question though: Aren't BLEVEs daily occurrences in Congress these days?
Excellent work! Only point I'd make is in an eminent BLEVE scenario, everything would be dropped and the crews would evac on foot or however they could the fastest, most likely leaving tools and lines in place.
The chief used the ERG. Daytime for the volunteer department means limited manpower. He had dispatch use reverse 911 to notify the locals and start the evacuation. As for the closeness of the crew, that was more stylistic than anything. I'd have used the deck gun, except that's not as easy to put in pictures.
In real life, we'd have stayed very far away with such a bad mix of bottles. Evac and marshmellows.
Quoting Tom S
The initial crews looked dangerously close at the beginning and seemed to be running into a bad HazMat scene. Did any of them use an ERG? ;D
The story line and the setup are fantastic. I have seen some videos on youtube where you can see a bleve. Gas cylinders flying like rockets hundreds of yards through the air. I can imagine how dangerous this is. Good, that all your firefighters escaped. Great work :)
I like it
April 8, 2012
Love the storyline and the scenes. I loved learning about BLEVEs in Hazardous Materials Operations class!