NSWFB Firefighters respond to acetylene emergency

Published: 27th February 2008

This morning NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) firefighters from Tumut, Wagga Wagga and Gundagai responded to a fire involving an acetylene cylinder at an industrial complex in Adelong Road, Tumut.

The fire was extinguished quickly however acetylene cylinders can be highly volatile when exposed to fire, heat or mechanical shock.

Firefighters established a 200 metre exclusion zone, requiring the evacuation of approximately 20 people from residential and industrial premises and the closure of the Snowy Mountain Highway. Fire crews continued to cool the acetylene cylinder to reduce the risk of an explosion.

A specialist thermal imaging camera was used to monitor the temperature of the acetylene cylinder. Once the temperature of the cylinder had dropped and stabilised, firefighters could safely approach it, submerging the cylinder in a drum of water to cool it for a further 24 hours.