The Fire

The 48 foot high, 140 foot diameter tank provided sufficient surface area for the production of flames which at times reached 200 - 250 feet in height.

As would be expected, the radiant heat was intense and exposures had to be continuously cooled during the fire. Nearby tanks were not the only equipment requiring cooling - the fire trucks themselves required periodic cooling to keep them from being damaged.

Photo By Glenn Ogilvie of The Sarnia Observer

During the cooling operation, the product in the tank was being pumped to another tank away from the fire.

(Photo from Channel 7 WXYZ-TV Detroit)

With the intense heat, the walls of the tank began to curl inward after several hours, but the cooling effect of the product in the tank prevented the deformation of the walls below the liquid level. The curled walls did create pockets where small fires continued to burn for a period of time after the initial control, however.

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