ARIZONA NEWS

Massive propane tank fire near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport extinguished

Jul 20, 2023, 5:44 PM | Updated: 10:18 pm

PHOENIX — A massive propane yard fire that erupted during the extreme heat wave Thursday at 40th and Washington streets near Sky Harbor Airport is extinguished, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

Around 5 p.m., Phoenix Fire responded to reports of a propane plant fire, according to Captain Scott Douglas, the department spokesperson.

Shortly after, firefighters arrived and established a water supply at the scene. They also verified that multiple five-gallon propane tanks were exploding at the scene.

Douglas said hundreds of tanks are scattered throughout the area and they have isolated, evacuated and denied entry to buildings in the area.

“So at this time if you’re far enough away from the fire with this type of heat, it’s important for people to remember to shelter in place. If we need you to evacuate we will let you know,” Douglas said.

“At this time people are self evacuating and that’s fine if that’s what they choose to do. But we encourage them to stay in an air-conditioned environment obviously with smoke like this embers can travel.”

There are tanks at least 500 yards past “ground zero,” Douglas said in the press conference.

Crews let the propane tanks off-gas and extinguished a structure fire at a scrapyard nearby.

“Crews were able to extinguish that fire with the fire trucks on scene. We have over 150 firefighters at this incident this time with close to 75 to 80 fire trucks working to put this out,” he said in an interview with KTAR News 92.3 Arizona’s Evening News.

The cause of the fire is unknown and investigators are looking into the origin.

The blaze did not impact airport operations or affect the runways, according to a Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport spokesperson.

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Massive propane tank fire near Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport extinguished