Fairfield Firefighters Burn Off Remaining Propane From Leaking Tank

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Fairfield hazmat technicians burn off propane with a flare tower after a 100-pound propane tank began leaking Monday afternoon. Photo Credit: Fairfield Firefighter Corey Gripp

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A spectacular flame shooting up in the middle of a local street Monday wasn't an out-of-control fire. It was a controlled burn of a leaking propane tank by the Fairfield Fire Department. 

An employee from Southern Connecticut Gas contacted the Fairfield Fire Department on Monday afternoon after finding a leaking 100-pound propane tank in the back yard of a house on Monday afternoon, fire officials said.

The employee reported positive gas readings 10 feet away from the tank. A short time later, three fire department engines and one ladder truck arrived on the scene to deal with the leak.

After monitoring the situation, firefighters determined that there was no threat of an immediate explosion in the surrounding area and that they could safely burn off the propane to relieve the remaining pressure in the tank, fire officials said. 

Firefighters held the controlled burn in the middle of Castle Avenue using a tool called a flare tower, which is able to burn off the propane and leave the tank safe, fire officials said. Police provided security and redirected traffic away from the area while the burn was completed. 

“If property owners suspect that a propane tank may be in poor condition they should contact their propane supplier and have them perform an inspection of the tank,” said Fairfield Assistant Fire Chief Erik Kalapir. "Additionally, whenever a resident smells an odor of gas he or she should call 911."

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