Interview with City of Lamesa Fire Service Manager Kendall Amos along with morning after video

Photographer David Drummond's website with his account and more pictures

Chief Billy Goldfeder at Firefighter Close Calls alerted us to this amazing video from Thursday night. Here's what he wrote:

Lamesa and Andrews (Texas) Firefighters were operating at a tank fire last evening. They had water flowing, attempting to cool. At about 2 hours into it, a relief valve blew ...but then the tank and nearby tanks exploded and took off. The photographer was 200 yards away and a piece of 4" pipe about a foot and a half long with a cutoff valve on it came through the air in a high enough arc that it cleared the power lines next to him in impact the front of his vehicle, causing extensive damage.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries in the incident.

The video was shot by David Drummond who does storm chasing for KCBD-TV. It is believed lightning had hit the tank. Drummond wrote this on his website In The Vortex:

After chasing a wicked hail storm last night in Dawson County (it hailed for an hour and 15 minutes straight!) I heard the call go out for a tank battery fire that was most likely started by lightning. I thought it might make for some good news footage, but little did I know what was in store!

Here is some of the account of City of Lamesa Fire Service Manager Kendall Amos from KCBD-TV's website:

After two hours of fighting the blaze firefighters heard a hissing sound. "I was probably 20 yards from the front of the fire. I saw a couple of guys fall and I was running to try to help get them up," said Amos about the seconds following the explosion. Amos says the chain fence around the salt water disposal site shielded his men from flying debris. "Our people didn't get hit. Our trucks didn't get his. I can't believe it. It was like a grenade going off," said Amos.
Viewing a scene he describes as a war zone, Amos says it wasn't death that scared him. "Really what was going through my mind was not that I'm going to die, but that I'm going to get burned and have to live," he said.

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Waiter! One pair of clean underwear, please!
Why did it take so long for them to pull out,
what where they thinking?????????
Hopefully all of us on here can learn a lesson from this. WE dont have tank batteries in our area so not sure what I would have done in this sit. TCSS
I look forward to a critique from an expert that answers the question "How would you have handled that call ?"
wow not a nice thing to work with. With a tank on fire you can expect anything. they were lucky to escape with no serious injuries and they can feel proud with their work.
The headline to this should be, "Houston, We Have Liftoff!" Follwed by, "Holy Crap!" In case's like this, you don't call for backup, you just backup!!!!
Guess the price of gas is gonna keep going up!
Holy Crap now thats a close call if i ever seen one
Holy Cow,did you fellas see that tank launch?They are very lucky.I could swear that I can hear PASS alarms sounding in the back ground.......Your thoughts?Walter C
Lamesa and Andrews Fds did a great job on this one! This was a combination of a slop-over and a pressure tank fire. They did what I hope any of us would have done. They set up aerials and were focusing master streams onto the tank that was struck by lightning. I know you can't predict when that tank will pop off or where it will land, but it looks like they were keeping most of the personnel back and letting the master streams do the job. Good job fellas!
I'm not a expert but i'm a hazmat tech , i think in a situation like this monitored nozzles and stay way back from it, is in our best interests and safest way do deal with this.

risk a lot to save a lot, risk a little to save a little.
stay safe J.C.
Oviously you didn't watch the same tape I did, They did not sound the
horns for about five min. after the explosion. That is what I ment!!!!!!!!
And your right, I never have fought a tank battery fire thank God.
However I am familiar with the sounds of a tank before it explodes, so
theres no need to assume what I know. Sarcasm by the way is in another
discussion that has been posted, maybe you try it out Mr Chum

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