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Propane gas fire
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

On Tuesday, 21 November 2017, at 1312 hours, your Millville Volunteer Fire Company was alerted to respond to the 33000 Block of Old Pier Lane in the new subdivision of The Sanctuary off Camp Barnes Road for a vehicle fire with a gas leak.  Due to the type of fire event, Roxana and Frankford VFC’s were also alerted to assist.  Numerous fire engines and related equipment were on scene, as well as Sussex County Medic Unit 105. 

The arriving units quickly learned this was an uncontrolled underground propane line that was ruptured by a worker operating a Ditch Witch.  As a result of these actions, the Ditch Witch was ignited and he operator suffered burns.  He was quickly transported to an unknown medical facility for treatment.

Chief Doug Scott recognized the danger he was facing by having a free-flowing fire not contained.  The utility company was notified for an emergency response to the scene.  Chief Scott utilized MVFC’s new Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (Drone) for aerial views so he could reduce threats to his firefighters and construction workers that populated the immediate area and evaluate the unprotected areas.  With the support of the UAV, Chief Scott was capable to acquire a 360 degree camera view of this propane leak fire and how best to control this event.  Due to the area of this propane leak and fire, Chief Scott did not need to declare any evacuations.  

The Delaware State Farm Marshal was also requested and responded. 

At the time of this report, the injury to the construction worker remains unknown.  We certainly wish him the best and a speedy recovery from his burns.  

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