Scooter MacMillan, Editor
A natural gas tanker truck explosion on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh late Thursday night, June 1, that easily could have been deadly, knocked out power in the area awhile, but no one was hurt. Considering the size of the conflagration, damage was minimal.
Workers restoring cable and phone service the next morning said around 11:15 p.m. a driver noticed sparks, apparently from the brakes, coming from the truck and passed it. The driver managed to signal the truck driver over. They both dashed a safe distance away and weren’t hurt when the truck exploded.
Grass and trees were burned for about 40 feet on both sides of Route 7 south of Dakin Road.
The truck was a total loss, but no buildings were burned, although one was not far from the explosion.
One worker said the fire was suppressed by the time he arrived just after midnight.
Another who lives in Monkton said he lost power, but it had been restored in just a couple of hours.
Ferrisburgh fire chief Bill Wager said such tanker trucks are equipped with a venting system with a release when a maximum pressure is reached.
“The venting system worked perfectly,” Wager said. “The container did what it was supposed to do.”
Fire fighters were able to spray the fire with water to cool it down. Wager said, in his 46 years of firefighting, it was one of the biggest he’s seen.
About 80 feet of both the north and south lanes of the roadway of Route 7 were damaged three-quarters of an inch deep because of the high temperatures of the fire, said Daniel Shepard with Vermont Agency of Transportation in a release.
Temporary repairs to the roadway were made Friday to ensure the safety of the road, but more permanent repairs will be needed in the near future, he said.
Nine fire departments, including Charlotte, responded to the fire.