Oil storage tank in Kingfisher explodes after being struck by bullet

Firefighters extinguished a fire at an oil well site that began about 10 a.m. Sunday in a rural area of Kingfisher County. Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter said the blaze was caused by a shot that was fired at an oil tank, causing it to build up pressure and explode.
BY TIFFANY GIBSON Staff Writer tgibson@opubco.com Modified: January 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm •  Published: January 29, 2012
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photo - Firefighters extinguish a fire at an oil well site  Sunday. Officials say someone intentionally shot at an oil holding tank in rural Kingfisher County, causing pressure to build up and the tank to explode.  Photo provided by Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter
Firefighters extinguish a fire at an oil well site Sunday. Officials say someone intentionally shot at an oil holding tank in rural Kingfisher County, causing pressure to build up and the tank to explode. Photo provided by Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter

KINGFISHER — Fire officials say someone intentionally shot at an oil well tank in rural Kingfisher County Sunday morning, causing it to explode and start a fire.

Lonnie McDade, a dispatcher with the Kingfisher County sheriff's office, said firefighters from three departments responded about 10 a.m. to the fire, which was reported five miles west and two miles south of Kingfisher. An exact location has not been given.

Kingfisher Fire Chief Randy Poindexter said someone used a rifle to shoot at a holding tank at the site. He said the bullet struck the tank and caused enough pressure for the top to explode.

About 12 firefighters responded to the scene and were able to extinguish the fire with oil well foam before the blaze reached nearby wheat crops.

The fire damaged two of the three Continental Operating Company oil tanks at the site, causing $20,000 in damage, Poindexter said.

He said company officials worked with firefighters to help shut the well down so the fire could be put out. No evacuations were made and no injuries were reported.

The Kingfisher County sheriff's office has opened an investigation into the incident since Poindexter said the fire does not appear to be accidental. No arrests have been made at this time.



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