Fuel Tanker Fire, Albert

Published: 29th May 2006

At around 9.30 am on Thursday 25 May 2006, the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) received a triple zero call reporting a fuel tanker on fire in a fuel depot at Albert in central west NSW. Local Rural Fire Service (RFS) brigades were responded. When firefighters arrived they confirmed a fire involving a fuel tanker containing approximately 45 000 litres of diesel and petrol. The fuel depot and a house were also threatened. Additional resources were requested and ultimately 30 firefighters from four RFS tankers and one NSWFB unit were committed to fighting the fire. They were supported by the NSWFB Hazardous Materials Unit from Dubbo who brought additional foam supplies with them.

Because of the threat to the fuel depot, firefighters evacuated the town’s 30 inhabitants. For an hour and a half fire crews applied foam to the tanker to bring the fire under control and cooled exposed structures with water .

The fire destroyed the tanker and caused minor damage to the house. Firefighters remained at the scene well into the day applying foam to the fuel to prevent re-ignition. All spilt fuel was contained to the area. A site clean up is being organised in consultation with the local council.

Two people self presented to hospital, one with a leg injury the other suffering from shock. There were no other injuries.

The fire is believed to have started during an unloading operation. Fire officers and Police are investigating.