UPDATE: Propane Filling Station Fire Sets Off Gas Tank Explosions

Cause of fire still under investigation

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Several explosions and a huge fireball made for a scary scene in northwest Sioux Falls Thursday evening.  The incident was caught on cellphone footage by several witnesses.

Crews responded to A-OX Welding Supply Company on North Harlem Avenue just after 5 p.m.  As of 9 p.m. Thursday, most of the fire was contained, but firefighters will be there overnight monitoring the scene.  People within a half-mile of the scene were evacuated.  The evacuation order was lifted around 8 p.m. Thursday, but the industrial park around the company will likely be blocked off till sometime Friday.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.

In an update late Thursday night, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Fire Battalion Chief Jim Powers tells KDLT News that according to the preliminary investigation, a fire broke out at a propane filling station outside of the A-OX building.  The fire spread to several propane tanks and other gas tanks which exploded.  It was a dangerous scene as pieces of the tanks flew hundreds of feet in the air and away from the scene.  A delivery truck full of diesel caught fire from the explosions, creating a cloud of thick, black smoke.

“We think it was burning off the diesel fuel that was loaded in it.  It had a full load of diesel to make deliveries tomorrow,” Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Division Chief Steve Fessler told reporters Thursday evening.

There’s no word on what caused the initial fire at the filling station.  The ATF is investigating, but Fire Rescue says that is standard protocol with incidents like this.


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