GUN BARREL CITY, Texas (KLTV) - A propane tank exploded at a business in Gun Barrel City Wednesday after a forklift caught on fire.
No one was injured in the incident.
According to a post on the Gun Barrel City Fire Department’s Facebook page, GBC firefighters responded to a report of a forklift on fire at the Lowe’s Home Improvement store located at 201 W. Main Street at 2:43 p.m. Wednesday.
“In my nearly 30 years in the fire service, I have never seen a propane tank rupture as a result of a forklift fire,” Gun Barrel City Fire Chief Joseph Lindaman said in the post. “Today’s incident at Lowe’s could have resulted in very serious injuries to our Fire Fighters and to the guests and associates at Lowe’s today.”
When the firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a propane-powered forklift fully engulfed in flames in front of the west entranced to the lawn and garden area. They positioned their firetruck about 100 feet from the fire.
As the GBC firefighters were getting into position with the hose line near the fire truck, the propane tank ruptured, “sending a large fireball 20 feet into the air,” the Facebook post stated.
According to the post, the heat was so intense that it could be felt back where the fire truck was parked.
“I want to commend our firefighters Jacob Raney and Matthew Newkirk for using good tactics when approaching the forklift fire,” Lindaman said in the post. “I also want to commend Lowe’s for their quick action in evacuating all guests and employees from the store until the forklift fire was extinguished.”
The forklift was a total loss, and the plastic packaging on some of the products stored in that areas was damaged.
“The cause of the fire remains under investigation,” the Facebook post stated.