Propane tanker fire sends flames above treetops - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Propane tanker fire sends flames above treetops

ANTIGO (WAOW) – Flames from a propane tanker shot above the treetops after the truck caught fire on U.S. Highway 45, blocking the road for hours Friday, Langlade County Sheriff Bill Greening said.

“It was very dramatic. Nobody was hurt. The driver did get out safely,” the sheriff said.

About noon as the tanker owned by Draeger Propane of Antigo was northbound on U.S. Highway 45, the truck's engine started on fire about four miles south of Antigo, Greening said.

The driver pulled over and tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher but was unsuccessful, Greening said.

The blaze spread, heating the tanker to the point that the liquid propane began escaping through a release valve designed to keep it from exploding, the sheriff said.

“When I first got there, the flames were above the tree line,” Greening said. “It was pretty hectic for afternoon traffic.”

Firefighters let the fire burn itself out and the truck was not expected to be removed from the scene until later in the afternoon, delaying the reopening of Highway 45 until about 2:30 p.m., the sheriff said.

It is unknown why the truck's engine started on fire, Greening said.

Antigo Fire Chief Jon Petroskey said the tanker had just made a delivery of propane and had about 100 gallons left, meaning it was about 90 percent empty.


ANTIGO (WAOW) -- A tanker truck fire has closed down a section of highway in Langlade County, according to state transportation officials.

Authorities say Highway 45 is closed in both directions at County Highway G just south of Antigo.

Officials say an incident happened around noon Friday, but no further details have been released.

Diana Downing, administrative assistant at Faith Center Church, which is about 450 yards from the crash site, said some nearby businesses were evacuated because of the fire.

“You could see black smoke rolling pretty good here,” she said in a telephone interview. “The parking lot is getting packed.”

The highway is expected to be closed for about two hours.

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