At approximately 8:30 Tuesday morning the Presque Isle Fire Department was dispatched to a reported propane tank on fire with the delivery truck still hooked up at 24 Quoggy Jo Lake Rd. The caller stated he was the driver of the delivery truck and had been filling a tank outside a residence when fire erupted and engulfed the top of the tank. The driver also reported that he was having chest pain so an ambulance was dispatched as well. Presque Isle Police Department also responded to help set up a safe zone until it could be deemed safe.
When crews arrived they found the driver laying in the road and in distress. He told the crew he had been able to put the fire out but the tank was still leaking and the delivery hose was still attached. A firefighter who is a licensed paramedic attended to the driver while waiting for the ambulance to arrive while the rest of the crew secured the scene and assessed the hazard. The camp owner had evacuated himself and reported that he had heard a loud bang outside and when he ran out to investigate he found the driver on his back in the snow bank and the top of his propane tank on fire. He quickly reacted and grabbed his fire extinguisher and then the one off the delivery truck which the driver used to finally put the fire out. The delivery truck is equipped with a remote safety switch that the driver was able to trip and shut the delivery system down. The vapor that leaked after was from the storage tank not the delivery truck. Fire crews were able to disconnect the delivery line and isolate the leaking vapor. The wind coming off the lake helped to dissipate the vapor so it wasn’t a hazard. A hazardous materials technician from the Department of Environmental Protection arrived and monitored the air with a meter to ensure the level of propane was not explosive. All readings were within normal limits so technicians from the delivery company were allowed in to fix the tank and secure the truck.
The delivery truck was owned and operated by Daigle Oil Company and they were very helpful and cooperated fully with the fire department. The incident is still under investigation to determine the cause of the ignition and subsequent leak. Officials estimate that approximately 25-30 gallons of propane were lost into the air from the fire and leak. There were no other injuries and no damage to the camp.