One Critically Burned in Explosion and Fire at Oil Refinery in Fallon

Photo courtesy John Davenport

FALLON, NV - You can see from the burn marks on the side of a tank the fire was not a small one.

Debris from the top of the tank blew to the ground apparently as part of the explosion.

An example of just how volatile this fire was.

There was a lot of heat there.

“Those are 30,000 gallon tanks there was a lot of heat. When the temperatures get high, that's what causes the explosion of the container,” said Fallon-Churchilll Fire Chief Fred Rogne.

The chief says it took more than two hours to put out the fire.

They needed fire crews from Fallon Naval Base to do it.

NAS has crash trucks carrying foam which they use should a plane crash and fuel ignite.

“We received one patients that was covered head to toe in hot oil received second and third degrees burns to his body. The paramedic that was taking care of him estimated about 58-percent of his body was burned. He was talking, alert, and oriented at that time. But he is considered a critical patient due to the extent of his burns,” said Jerry McCullough a paramedic with Banner EMS.

The victim is described as a 24 year old male he was taken to the burn center at UC Davis for treatment of his burns.

He is described by acquaintances as having a 2 year old and another on the way.

Approximately 20 other employees got out safe.

The investigation is now in the hands of Fallon-Churchill Fire and the state fire marshal.

Initially media crews were told on scene the fire may have been caused by workers using a weed burner to heat a line.

Chief Rogne would not comment on that claim when asked saying the investigation was ongoing and all the facts were not in.

Bango sent its own investigative unit to look into the fire.

The company described the fire as small, which ruptured a tank and was quickly extinguished the company said.

Photo courtesy Jenise Deitz