NOVEMBER 30, 2015
FUEL TANKER TRUCK CATCHES FIRE WHILE PARKED NEXT TO GROUND FUEL TANKS;
REQUIRES THREE FIRE DEPARTMENTS FROM TWO COUNTIES TO SUPPRESS DANGEROUS FLAMES
While area residents (including yours truly, were loading and stuffing their stomachs on Thanksgiving; local fire fighters stopped a major disaster that could have led to a tragic number of casualties were it not for their efforts.
Just after 12 P.M. Thanksgiving day, Lawrence 911 received a call of a fuel tanker fire that had caught on fire at the Peach Orchard Mayo 7 coal mine on Route 2033 in southern Lawrence County.
The Cherryville Fire Department immediately responded to the scene, and once the units arrived, they discovered the situation was in an even more precarious explosive danger, as the flaming fuel tanker was parked next to several large ground fixed fuel storage tanks.
Cherryville hastily called for assistance from the Lomansville Fire Department, but they were then alerted that the Lomansville crews were out on a call from an hour earlier with Netcare EMS to an ATV accident on Lost Creek Road (luckily the ATV driver, Rex Ferguson, received only minor injuries).
Cherryville then requested assistance to Martin County for the Inez Fire Department. Inez fire crews arrived to the the mine soon thereafter, along with the freed up Lomansville fire fighting units. The Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency helped direct the operations of the fighting the truck fire.
All three fire departments spent the next several hours extinguishing the flames and suppressing the intense heat from spreading the fire and igniting the ground fuel tanks.
The were no injuries suffered in the extensive fire fighting operations at the coal mine.