Burst water line helps contain rural Elkton fire; Hog barn explosion could have been worse
Published 10:11 am Friday, October 30, 2015
ELKTON — A Thursday explosion and fire in a hog barn could have been much worse had a water line not ruptured and helped put out the blaze.
A man at 20495 690th Ave. in rural Elkton was welding to repair a gate in a hog confinement barn shortly before 10:40 a.m. Thursday when fumes from the manure pit below the building ignited, according to Assistant Adams Fire Chief Curt Sheely.
The man was able jump over a gate and exit the building, but Sheely said the initial flame from the fumes spread throughout that part of the building.
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“Had it received more oxygen, it would have been a more serious explosion,” Sheely said.
Sheely noted it would have been larger if there had been more oxygen in the space.
“He was very lucky to not have a full explosion,” he said.
The man sustained minor injuries like singed hair and was checked by emergency response officials, but he refused to be taken for further examination.
The initial incident sparked a fire in the building in a curtain, plastic lines and a feed line, but a water line caught fire, ruptured and helped control the initial blaze.
“If the water line had not burst, it would have been much more serious,” Sheely said.
Sheely said his department arrived on scene within seven to eight minutes of the initial incident and had the fire put out quickly.
That side of the building was unoccupied at the time, but the other side was full of market-sized hogs. The county’s livestock response trailer was taken to the scene but not used.
Sheely estimated there was about $30,000 in damage to the building, but there was no major structural damage.