Investigators Determine Cause of Propane Fire - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/1/06

Investigators Determine Cause of Propane Fire

Lubbock fire officials say they have determined the cause of Monday's propane fire at Wylie's gas company in South Lubbock. NewsChannel 11's Jennifer Vogel was at the news conference where details were announced and has the latest.

Investigators told NewsChannel 11 they do have a potential cause to the fire that happened Monday. They say a witness, an employee at the gas company, started hearing leaking propane tanks. It was the smaller 20 pound tanks that were leaking. The employee went inside to get a screwdriver to tighten the valve, but by the time he got back, the fire had begun.

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The employee tried to extinguish the fire, but was unable to do so. The main gas lines were shut down and employees evacuated the building. The employee who witnessed the fire did report injuries.

Investigators believe the fire could have been ignited by static electricity or a cigarette. Kelly Vandygriff from the State Fire Marshall's office says, "The things we were unable to eliminate were the static electricity or some type of source like exhaust or smoking. This could've occurred anywhere downwind where the liquid propane gas was going to."

Investigators say propane is still leaking from the 20 pound tanks. So they have asked the owner to take precautions when doing clean-up.

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