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Gasoline Storage Tank Catches Fire

July 8, 1988

PHILLIPS, Texas (AP) _ A gasoline storage tank caught fire as a heavy thunderstorm passed over an oil refinery and rainfall displaced the roof, authorities said today.

No injuries were reported in the Thursday evening fire at the 80,000 gallon tank, which contained unleaded gasoline, said the Hutchinson County sheriff’s office.

″The water from the rain caused the roof to sink into the gasoline,″ said Phillips Petroleum Co. spokesman Dan Harrison. The roof rises and falls with the volume of gasoline inside.

″We began applying foam to seal the roof and, during the application of foam, the fire broke out.″

Harrison said about 50,000 to 55,000 gallons of foam was inside the tank when fire broke out. The flames were extinguished, but the gas reignited early this morning, he said.

″They have a large tank, containing unleaded gas, burning,″ said a sheriff’s officer who declined to be identified. ″It looks like they will have to wait until it burns itself out.″

Two access roads to the refinery were closed, the officer said. Plant workers were using foam and water to fight the blaze.

Phillips is 55 miles northeast of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.

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