Flatlands diesel tank explosion erupts into massive blaze

Firefighters at a Utica Avenue fuel explosion on May 20 douse flames with foam.
Photo by Todd Maisel

A diesel fuel explosion at an equipment rental yard in Flatlands on Wednesday sent a plume of smoke and flames 30 feet into the air, fire officials said.

No injuries were reported in the Utica Avenue blast at the Kisay Equipment Rental yard by Avenue O, which rents heavy-duty generators, large lights, and other gear to construction companies, officials said.

The explosion occurred at about 2:45 pm on May 20 for unknown reasons, causing a 500-gallon diesel fuel tank in the back of the yard to erupt in flames, according to authorities. A blue tarp covering the building frame burnt off before firefighters arrived.

Firefighters who first responded to the scene immediately sprayed foam on the burning fuel and on nearby vehicles to prevent their fuel tanks from bursting into flames. Firefighters who specialize in hazardous materials were rushed to the scene to help halt the fire’s spread. 

The blast terrified neighbors, who had been enjoying a quiet afternoon.

“I was just walking by when I heard the boom, I couldn’t imagine what it was and then a column of black smoke was coming from it,” said James Walken, a resident who was just returning home from the local store. “It scared the hell out of me.”

Firefighters brought the blaze under control after about an hour, said fire officials. The cause of the blaze is under investigation. 

This story first appeared on AMNY.com

Firefighters spray foam on the fuel fire in Flatlands.Photo by Todd Maisel)