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Fire Destroys Oil Storage Tanks Near Bairoil, Wyoming [VIDEO]

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Firefighters spent 11 hours Monday night and early Tuesday battling a blaze that broke out near Bairoil, destroying a battery of oil storage tanks.

No injuries were reported, and Carbon County Fire Warden John Rutherford credits firefighters for minimizing the damage.

“It could’ve been a lot worse,” Rutherford says, noting the potential for the release of sour gas. Thankfully, monitoring equipment detected no release and firefighters stayed upwind of the potential source.

The fire began at about 9 p.m. Monday on property owned by Richardson Production, Rutherford says. Initial indications suggest a tank heater may have malfunctioned, causing the fire.

Some 15 firefighters from Carbon County and the City of Rawlins responded, sometimes having to go on the defensive due to safety concerns.

At times, Rutherford says, all firefighters could do was watch the tank battery burn.

Rutherford emphasizes how fortunate it is that workers shut down equipment in order to prevent the release of sour gas and the noxious hydrogen sulfide, which is extremely poisonous and flammable.

“We knew that it was there, but with the fire there was no release of that,” Rutherford says.

The flames were finally extinguished around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

An estimate on the amount of damage was not immediately available.

Thanks to Joseph Christmann for the video.

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