CAMP VERDE -- About noon Tuesday, Camp Verde Fire District units were dispatched to a propane fire at the Yavapai County Yard behind the County Jail on Cherry Creek Road.
Firefighters found a pickup truck and trailer on fire. The trailer was equipped with an asphalt hopper and two 25-gallon propane tanks. Workers said they heard one of the propane tanks venting and then heard an explosion. Fortunately, no one was hurt by the explosion.
Responding fire personnel were concerned with the potential of a BLEVE of the propane tanks. (A BLEVE or 'boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion' is an explosion caused by the rupture of a vessel containing a pressurized liquid above its boiling point). Crews took action to mitigate that concern.
Fire crews were on scene for two hours working to suppress the fire, which proved to be a challenge because of the amount of fuel that was burning. Not only were the two-25 gallon tanks full of propane, but the pickup truck's fuel tank was also compromised and they had to consider the gasoline tank part of the fuel load.
The fire appears to be caused by overfilling of the propane tank, causing the tank to self-vent. The propane vapors found an ignition source causing the explosion of vapors.