(10/8/13) The Jackson County Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC) paged the Black River Falls Fire Department on October 7, 2013 at 16:16 for a fire at Wild Body Shop on Hwy 54 W.
The EDC was not able to report what was on fire at the time of the page. This address is located in the township of Albion at N5862 Hwy 54 W. and just outside the City of Black River Falls.
Upon arrival the department found several employee's in the driveway some distance from the buildings. An employee advised that the two 1,000 gallon liquid propane (LP) tanks were on fire at the north end of the body shop.
An unmanned 2.5" hose line with a Blitzfire monitor was setup with the water stream directed onto the two LP tanks to cool them down and prevent a possible bleve of the tanks.
Firefighters then used a 1.75" hose line to make a water screen - curtain to advance into the LP tanks and turn off the gas tank valves. At this time most of the fire went out.
The LP fire had extended into a vehicle parked near the tanks. The firefighters attacked and extinguished this fire with water and Class A foam. The vehicle appears to be a total loss. A second vehicle also parked near the tanks had some heat damage but did not burn.
Employees of the body shop building, an auto repair building and also nearby auto sales building were all evacuated from the area.
The fire started when a body shop employee was cutting brush around the tanks and a LP vaporizer with a chain saw. The employee hit a copper gas line with the chain saw. The pilot light in the LP vaporizer caused the leaking liquid LP to ignite.
The employee did suffer some burns to an arm. The employee refused medical transport from the scene but did seek medical treatment on his own.
The department was assisted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department with evacuation and scene security. Tender mutual aid was also received from the Melrose and Hatfield Fire Departments as this are does not have fire hydrants.
The property is insured. A damage estimate is not known at this time.
The department was on the scene 1.5 hours with 16 firefighters.
Chief Steve Schreiber
Black River Falls Fire Department