Oil Tank Explosion in South Part of County


Published on September 21 2015 9:31 am
Last Updated on September 21 2015 9:31 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Authorities are investigating after an oil tank explosion in the south part of Effingham County Sunday night. There is some concern that someone caused a second explosion.

Watson Fire Chief Matt Kulesza said the incident occurred at 14015 East 150th Avenue, just south of the Mason-Eberle Road and to the west. Firefighters got a report of an explosion at 6:47pm. Witnesses saw 80-foot-high flames that could be seen 15 miles away. Kulesza said the tank farm is a Nelson lease and run by MDM Energy, Inc. of Addison, Texas. The owner was in the area and showed up at the scene.

Kulesza said there was about 20 barrels of oil in the tank that exploded. Firefighters used a foam attack to blanket the oil and smother the flames. The Effingham Fire Department brought the MABAS foam trailer to assist, and North Clay firefighters assisted at the scene. Crews used 75 gallons of foam to extinguish the area, and were on scene for about 1-1/2 hours.

Firefighters were paged back out at 9:22pm for a rekindle at the same location. When crews reached the scene, two more tanks were fully involved in flames. Effingham County Sheriff's Department was called to the scene as Kulesza said authorities believe someone caused the rekindle. The oil company has security cameras in place; the videos are being reviewed today in an effort to determine a suspect. 

31 firefighters assisted at the scene. No one was injured. Firefighters were on the scene about 45 minutes for the rekindle.