WASHINGTON CO. (WITI) — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a local manufacturing plant in Allenton of an explosion and subsequent fire of a 300 pound propane tank near the rear of the building. The investigation later revealed that the actual tank did not rupture or explode.
The call was received from Allcast Inc. at 5:31 a.m. and required fire departments from Allenton, St Lawrence, Kohlsville and Slinger to respond for assistance.
Authorities were able to learn that an employee working outside the building in the area of the tank had knocked over a stack of plastic totes used in the handling of parts with a fork lift. This caused the valve and pipe on the tank to break off, venting the propane from the tank.
Shortly after the incident, the employee started the fork lift, exploding the vented propane that had accumulated in the area.
The fireball enveloped the fork lift and employee, neither injuring him nor damaging the fork lift.
The stack of totes did catch fire and burned.
There was no damage to the factory, and estimated damage of less than $5,000.00 was limited to the totes and repairs to the piping of the tank.
The fire was quickly extinguished and firefighters remained on scene for about an hour and a half.
Employees in the plant at the time were quickly evacuated and were allowed back when the scene was deemed safe.
There were no injuries to any employees, firefighters or other individuals that responded for this call.