Around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, some residents in Hope heard a loud bang.
It was the sound of one of a tire exploding, as smoke and flame poured out of the cap of a grey Toyota Tacoma which had pulled in to the Chevron gas station at Old Hope Princeton Way and 6 Avenue.
Fire chief Tom DeSorcy said the Hope Fire Department arrived on scene within 10 minutes. The cause of the blaze were jerry cans of fuel stored in the back of the truck, likely coming into contact with the exhaust or another source of combustion.
“(The) jerry can may have tipped over as a result of riding in the back and spilled some fuel…and may have come in contact with a source of combustion nearby,” fire chief Tom DeSorcy said.
“So (the driver) wasn’t fueling up at the time, he had nothing to do with the gas station, it just happened to be the nearest parking lot he found.”
The Chevron station activated emergency shut down procedures as the fire crews worked to contain the fire and remove a propane tank from the truck.
One resident captured the explosion on video.
Fire at chevron, recorded by Elijah John
Posted by Danny Mayers on Sunday, May 13, 2018
Photographer Francis Ward captured the fire on camera, he arrived just as the truck fire was starting.
“Everyone was told to leave and back away quickly. The gas pumps were all immediately turned off. No one was hurt. Police arrived roughly 5-10 minutes after it started. Fire trucks roughly around the same time,” he wrote in an email to the Hope Standard. Ward estimated the fire lasted about 45 minutes.
DeSorcy said fire crews wear protective equipment and are prepared for a tire blowing during a fire like this. No firefighters were injured.
With summer heat arriving in Hope and many filling jerry cans with fuel for their lawn mowers, boats and other vehicles, DeSorcy warns people to place containers with fuel in a secure and well-ventilated location.
“From a safety perspective, those containers are designed to carry fuel. They are designed to carry a certain amount and when it’s hot out and you put them into a container, it’s going to expand and fumes…vapour will be released,” he said.
The fire department had four calls last week. In addition to the truck fire, crews attended a false alarm at a local school, assisted the police and attended a burning complaint.
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