Lightning Blamed For Explosion, Fire at Deanville Oil Well Site

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DEANVILLE, Texas - Lightning is being blamed for an oil field explosion that burned for several hours in the Burleson County community of Deanville.

News 3 was at the scene all morning and looks at why firefighters struggled to get it under control.

The flames and smoke soared high into the air early Wednesday morning near the small community of Deanville. Crews believe lightning hit storage tanks at an oil field site located at F-M 111 and County Road 116.

"When he heard the strike of lightning we just thought wow that's close," said Pam Zimmerhanzel of Deanville.

She was not quite sure what happened on the land she and her family own.

"When we started receiving telephone calls we realized that it was closer than what we expected. And they wanted to know if it was our business, if it was our house or if it was the oil field pad that's also on our land," she said.

You can see just how powerful the blast was, this storage tank was 200 yards over there when it blew up and flew in the air. Fortunately nobody was around when it landed here in the road.

"The expanding vapors inside the storage tank caused the tank to explode... It would have been very dangerous to have been around this area when that occurred," said David Bagley, Burleson County Emergency Management Coordinator.

Caldwell Fire Chief David Pevehouse says they had to ask for extra foam from neighboring departments to cover the burning crude oil.

"The hotter it got the rubber gaskets on the doors started to burn and it started, the volume pressure started pouring it out," Pevehouse said.

Zimmerhanzel is glad so much help was available.

"Yes very thankful that we live in the community that we do and that they responded as fast as they did," she said.

Now that the fire is out, oil well crews are fixing the damage to get the well pumping again.

The oil well is owned by Clayton Williams Energy.

Crews from several agencies, including Deanville, Caldwell and Somerville Volunteer Fire Departments responded to that blast.

*Noon update*

An oil field fire raged for several hours Wednesday morning in the Burleson County Community of Deanville after lightning struck a storage tank.

Oil field crews are working on repairing the well run by Clayton Williams Energy off of F-M 111 and County Road 116.

The tank explosion could be heard by nearby residents.

As we were driving in we could see a thick plume of smoke filling the sky from Caldwell as the crude oil burned.

One of the storage tanks flew 200 yards.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control by about 9 A.M.

Burleson County Emergency Management Coordinator David Bagley says no evacuations were ordered.

"This was crude oil... We have an undetermined amount of product that was in the barrels but we had three storage tanks that were on. They each hold around 400 barrels of oil and so it will determine how much it was exactly on fire," Bagley said.

A replacement tank has already arrived for the one that was blown from the site.

Wednesday at 6 we will have more on why firefighters struggled to contain the fire.

No injuries were reported in that fire.