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Storage Tank Fires: Is Your Department Prepared?

BY CRAIG H. SHELLEYEvery six months or so I read in either a newspaper clipping or trade journal about a petroleum product storage tank fire occurring in the United States or internationally. These fires have occurred on the West Coast, the East Coast, and cities in between. The most spectacular fire occurring in past years was the 2005 Hertfordshire Oil Storage Terminal Fire (Buncefield Oil Depot) in England. Most of the fires I have read about that involve petroleum product storage tanks contain a common element that municipal firefighters generally overlook: Municipal or volunteer firefighters either fought the fire or supported the firefight. Although we train daily on our bread-and-b...

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