SIKESTON, MO (KPLR) - A huge fire packed with explosions filled the skies over Sikeston, Missouri with black smoke. Sikeston Department of Public Safety Captain Jim McMillen said, “Never seen anything like it, it was very dramatic.”
Some 40 firefighters from Sikeston arrived on the scene at the Santie Oil Company. The fire surrounded propane tanks, the kind folks use for backyard grills. In seconds about 100 of them went off like bombs. McMillen said, “Before we could actually get on the fire with the water those tanks started popping off started exploding.” A piece shrapnel from one tank that flew two hundred yards through the air. He added, “It’s very dangerous that’s why our firefighters and our command had to get back quickly.”
Another concern was a 30,000 gallon container that was half full of propane. Fortunately the flames moved away from it. McMillen said, “It was originally a concern for us had it, blew up, it would have caused a massive explosion in this area.”
The company also sells petroleum products for Chevron/Texaco and Castrol. None of the company’s employees were hurt. Two firefighters were overcome by the intense heat but they are expected to be okay. The captain said the reason no employees were injured was because of the safety protocols they have in place. The state fire marshal is investigating, looking for a cause.