Large propane tanks explode behind a Pittsfield cedar mill

Propane tank explosion in Pittsfield

PITTSFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Pittsfield Fire Department received a call at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday regarding an explosion and fire involving two 1,000 pound propane tanks located behind the Walpole Woodworkers cedar mill on Industrial Avenue.

The mill is located right across the street from a residential community.  David Frost is a resident of that community and he said that when he heard the explosion, he initially thought it was a car accident.  He said that it wasn't until he walked closer and noticed the flames burning.

Angela Jackson said that the explosion was deafening.  She said that normally, when she is inside her home, she doesn't hear sounds from outside.  However, she said the explosion was "loud and clear."

According to Fire Chief Bernard Williams, the valves on one of the two propane tanks ruptured, causing it to catch fire, which then caused the second tank to erupt in flames. The fire in one of the tanks was so extensive that the handles and valves stopped functioning.  The chief also said that the gas in one of the tanks burned out completely, and that they believe the cause of the fire was a pressure control valve malfunction.

No injuries were reported, there was no structural damage and there was no loss of product.  The Irving Gas company visited the site of the explosion in order to empty the gas from a tank so that they could safely remove and replace both tanks.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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