Wise County Gas Well Fire Under Control After Lightning Strike

8 of 10 tanks along state Highway 199 exploded, burned Wednesday

By Ben Russell
|  Wednesday, May 30, 2012  |  Updated 2:29 PM CDT
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An oil battery fire that sent a thick plume of black smoke into the morning sky Wednesday is now under control, according to fire officials.

Ben Russell, NBC 5 News

An oil battery fire that sent a thick plume of black smoke into the morning sky Wednesday is now under control, according to fire officials.

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An oil battery fire that sent a thick plume of black smoke into the morning sky Wednesday is now under control, according to fire officials.

Lightning is to blame for the fire, which was reported around 5:30 a.m. along the 10000-block of state Highway 199 in the unincorporated part of Wise County, approximately three miles north of the Parker County line.

A neighbor told NBC 5 that she heard the storm roll through, and then heard a loud explosion and felt her house shake.

Once firefighters arrived, a family of four who live next to the group of oil tanks were evacuated so that they could escape the noxious fumes.

Eight of the 10 tanks at the site exploded and burned in the fire. The tanks contained oil and saltwater, which is a byproduct of the extraction process.

Firefighters who responded could do little but douse the tanks with water and foam because of the intensity of flames and the supply of fuel for the fire.

The weather also played a hand at keeping the situation from getting worse. The strong, gusty winds that blew through the area helped carry away the smoke and reduce the intensity of the flames.

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