Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

April 17, 2013

Lightning causes oil tank fire

SHELBYVILLE — With the help of 12 other fire departments, Shelbyville Fire Protection District battled a type of fire Tuesday for which it had no experience fighting.

That afternoon, lightning struck a large oil storage tank, containing about 3,000 gallons of crude oil southeast of Clarksburg on county road 600N, about a half mile east of county 2050E. The strike caused the top of the tank to be blown into the air, taking out a power line and barely missing a metal storage building before landing more than 100 yards to the east of the fire. The force of the landing plunged the tank three feet into the ground.

"It was a confirmed lightning strike — neighbor saw it," said Shelbyville fire engineer William "Perk" Wilson.

The department arrived on the scene about 2:20 p.m. and immediately began calling for help from other departments for water and foam chemical to smother the flames. More than 100 personnel and 25 pieces of equipment, including tankers, responded to the call. Local firefighters have not been trained for this kind of incident, but knew that the fire needed to be smothered because water alone would only spread the flames.

"In my 31 years as a firefighter, I've never seen anything like that," said Shelbyville Fire Chief Gary Lynch. "We've had small scale barrel training, but this was our first actual oil storage incident. It was pretty fast-paced."

Another concern was a nearby tank containing xylene, which is extremely flammable, and other tanks with inhibitors, which were not explosive but also were flammable.

The fire was contained to a 30-by-70-foot area thanks to an earthen dam around the storage tanks. It took a little more than four hours to get it under control.

"We had to use the water to keep those tanks cool," Lynch said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.