Fire Started at Car Loading Platform of Kansas City, Kan„ Plant—Safety Valve on Cars Prevented Explosion Danger

ONE man lost his life attempting to shut off a valve from a filling hose to the storage tanks when an oil fire started at the loading platform of the Independent Oil Company. Kansas City, Kans. Plant officials attribute the fire to high humidity which prevented the diffusion of oil fumes so that the vapors hung low and seeped into the boiler room, a few feet from the railroad tracks.

Besides the damage to the tank cars, and the loss of 100,000 gallons of gasoline, two compressor buildings were damaged considerably. The wind confined the fire to its point of origin and helped the department extinguish the blaze. Safety valves on the tank cars opened ana prevented some severe explosions. The heat was so intense that it twisted the heavy steel rails under the tank cars. A huge truck that was on fire was used to pull cars of gasoline from the line of burning tankers to which they had been attached.

Aerial Photograph of Fire at Loading Dock of Oil Refinery

Forty city firemen, and company employees together with volunteers, fought the fire that threatened to destroy the refinery, valued at $3,000,000.

Tin barricades were used to protect the hosemen from the intense heat, and the men who tried to uncouple the railroad cars had to work with the protection of a water curtain. The fire department had nearly seven thousand feet of hose laid. There were five hose companies, two truck companies and two pumpers at the fire.

The city ambulance and a private ambulance were also on hand to render service.

If the wind had shifted, the fire would have destroyed a $500,000 cracking still unit that was being installed. A large stock of valves and pipe fittings that had just been checked was destroyed when the warehouse burned.

Airplanes from the Fairfax field, but a few blocks from the refinery, took up passengers anxious to view the fire from the sky.

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