Three Firefighters Hurt Battling Owasso Quarry Fire

Monday, October 12th 2015, 11:02 am
By: Richard Clark

Three firefighters were hurt in an explosion while fighting a fire at an Owasso quarry.

Rogers County Emergency Management spokesman Scotty Stokes said they don't believe the injuries were serious but the firefighters were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

One of the injured firefighters was from the Oklahoma Air National Guard. The other two, a man and a woman, were from the Limestone Fire Department.

Fire started at about 9:30 Monday morning at the Tulsa Asphalt plant at the Anchor Tulsa Rock Quarry on 66th Street North near 145th East Avenue.

Stokes said the fire started as some men at the company were doing some cleaning work. He said one worker received burns on his arm and was treated at the scene.

Stokes said seven tanks were on fire, including three oil, three burner fuel and one diesel tank.

He said the material that was burning is not explosive, but he said if enough pressure builds up the tanks could split, which would spill burning liquid and make the situation much worse. Stokes said the firefighters were working to keep the tanks cool in order to avoid that. 

Stokes said the Oklahoma Air National Guard brought over one of its large fire trucks and doused the burning tanks with foam. He said they thought they had the fire out when a valve on one of the burner fuel tanks malfunctioned which caused an explosion and hurt the firefighters.

The blast reignited the fire a few minutes before noon. It also shattered the windshield on the Oklahoma Air National Guard truck and caused other damage to it. 

The fire departments had to haul water to the scene because the nearest hydrant was a mile  away. The fire sent up a plume of dense, black smoke that was visible for miles in all directions.

Stokes said the wind dispersed the smoke quickly so there was not a significant danger from it to anyone nearby.