3 oil tanks burn near Gillette, no one hurt

AP News
Posted: Mar 13, 2011 7:07 AM
3 oil tanks burn near Gillette, no one hurt

A cluster of large oil tanks caught fire east of Gillette over the weekend and sent flames a hundred feet into the air.

Campbell County Fire Department division chief Dale Izatt says the blaze broke out around 5 p.m. Friday about 20 miles from Gillette near the Crook County line.

He tells the Gillette News-Record that three tanks caught fire. Each was used to store about 500 barrels of oil.

When firefighters arrived, one of the tanks already had exploded and sent a large plume of smoke into the air. Another blew up an hour later.

No one was hurt in the blaze, which investigators say was sparked by a faulty electric motor. It's unknown how much damage the fire caused.

Ultimately, firefighters decided to let the oil burn. Izatt says a dirt road that led to the tanks was reduced to mud, making it difficult to get to the fire.