Firefighters Empty, Eliminate Leaking 100-Gallon Propane Tank From Garage

Two Newtown hearth firms and added exterior means responded to guide a nearby home-owner past Thursday afternoon, soon after a 100-gallon propane tank commenced leaking within a garage in northern Newtown.

Hook & Ladder and Hawleyville firefighters have been dispatched to 3 Dinglebrook Lane just just after 4:30 pm, Thursday, July 15, right after a caller explained to unexpected emergency dispatchers he was smelling gasoline in the garage.

It took effectively a lot more than three several hours to safely clear the two tanks in the garage of propane, and then have the tanks taken out from the home. A single firefighter was checked for heat-similar exhaustion. There had been no other injuries claimed.

Dinglebrook Lane intersects with Hanover Highway in Newtown and continues to the Brookfield town line.

In accordance to the assessor’s databases, the property on the residence is a 2,844-sq.-foot Colonial-fashion dwelling. The property also consists of a 112-square-foot drop and a 240-sq.-foot detached garage. It was inside of the garage that firefighters located two 100-gallon propane tanks previous week, one of which experienced begun to leak.

Close to 15 firefighters responded to the call, in accordance to Hook & Ladder Third Assistant Main Jason Shuttleworth, who served as incident command. Fashionable tanks, he stated, have a failsafe that enables them to self-expel fuel if they are overfilled.

“There are safety features developed to enable the tank to blow off whilst keeping pressure,” he reported. But that was not the scenario on this phone.

The tanks were being about 18 years outdated, Shuttleworth mentioned, and had been in the garage that prolonged. The base of the one particular that was leaking had rotted absent, he said, and experienced begun to fail.

“That’s in which the propane was leaking from,” he explained. “Because the tank was harmed, we could not transfer it.”

Shuttleworth claimed he was informed by the house owner that they have been unaware there was just about anything in the tanks ahead of the leak commenced.

“He reported the tanks were there when they obtained the property, and just considered they have been vacant,” Shuttleworth mentioned this week. “We found out the tricky way they weren’t.”

Both equally tanks have been about 50 % total.

Shuttleworth to start with requested for dispatch to get hold of Fairfield County and Danbury hazmat groups, hoping to protected flare kits. Those people equipment allow propane to be safely burned off, thereby emptying tanks. The moment a tank is empty, he claimed, it can then be moved and adequately disposed of.

“Unfortunately for us, Fairfield was unable to react and Danbury’s flare kit did not have a very long enough hose,” the assistant chief reported. It would have taken 10 to 12 hours to vacant the propane from the leaking tank with that device, he explained.

Firefighters also contacted Mitchell Fuel, “who the house owner has a contract with, and they despatched a tech. They have a person who is mainly a tank pro,” Shuttleworth stated.

That technician arrived with 3 huge, vacant tanks that were less than a vacuum. The leaking tank was hooked to one particular of the tanks from Mitchell, which pulled propane from the leaking tank.

When the vacuum was fatigued, the initially tank was unhooked and a 2nd vacuum tank was linked to the ruined, leaking tank. The process was repeated until eventually the ruined tank was emptied.

As the propane exited the broken tank, Shuttleworth claimed, an ice chunk began forming on the bottom of the canister.

“As propane will come out, it will get cold, and in essence what took place was at the time it commenced leaking, it strike the ambient air,” which very last Thursday was very hot and humid, he said.

“It started to freeze,” he added. “We had been making an attempt to hold that chunk intact, because that was slowing the leak. It was coming out at a workable quantity. We just required to maintain the gasoline from accumulating inside the garage, and the tank from failing any more.”

In the meantime, additional firefighters metered the bordering location, making absolutely sure it was secure.

“The residence was evacuated prior to us finding there,” Shuttleworth claimed. “We continued air checking during the incident to make guaranteed any vapors that were being launched stayed where by we wished them to be. It under no circumstances seriously remaining the garage, and we experienced a fan in there to hold it dispersed.”

Thermal imaging cameras ended up also utilized through the course of action.

“We can inform how total a tank is mainly because temperature adjustments display us how a great deal merchandise is in the tank,” Shuttleworth claimed.

Just one firefighter was checked by Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps for warmth-linked exhaustion. Ambulance personnel remained on scene for the duration of the simply call.

“There was a great deal likely on, and it was scorching and humid,” mentioned Shuttleworth, who set out a get in touch with for additional help soon immediately after he arrived on scene. “To have persons in gear that extended, I wanted to make certain we had sufficient people today to work securely. I preferred to make positive individuals were able to open up up their equipment and great down immediately after they worked, and that there would be replacements accessible for them.”

Brookfield Fire sent a tanker to the scene, as did Hawleyville. Shuttleworth questioned for individuals, he mentioned, in the occasion h2o would be desired to suppress the destroyed tank with a vapor spray.

“Even with the small length among the dwelling and the boat start,” he reported, “it would choose manpower to shift drinking water if we required to established up a tanker shuttle.”

In the end, both of those tanks were eradicated from the home by Mitchell Oil, and firefighters ultimately cleared from the scene at 7:54 pm.


Associate Editor Shannon Hicks can be achieved at

Firefighters final 7 days utilised drinking water from a fire hose to heat a 100-gallon propane tank that was harmed and leaking at a Dinglebrook Lane home. The warm drinking water expanded the gasoline, which was then pressured into the black hose related at reduce right for dispersal. —David White/Newtown Hook & Ladder image