The City of Fort Myers Fire Department’s Special Operations team responded on Nov. 27 to a request for aid from the City of Cape Coral for a tractor trailer rollover that was transporting 9,000 gallons of gasoline.
The overturned gasoline tanker was actively leaking product, and the specially trained Fort Myers Fire Department along with the Cape Coral Fire Department immediately secured the scene by establishing isolation distances and suppressing flammable vapors with firefighting foams. The departments also set up defensive barriers ensuring that no gasoline reached the waterways, keeping the situation contained to the hot zone.
Fort Myers firefighters then went into the hot zone to complete the necessary tasks of grounding, de-energizing, and securing the tanker so a professional clean up company could off-load the remaining product. During the de-energizing operation of the tanker, a spark ignited flammable vapors, but due to the proactive tactic of foam application prior to entry, the fire was quickly extinguished. Fort Myers firefighters then made a second entry into the hot zone to complete the tasks. FMFD Special Operations techs also assisted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by providing air monitoring for flammable vapors of surrounding areas.
"We were faced with an extremely dangerous situation. Our aggressive leak control operation led to a substantial reduction in potential contamination of Cape Coral's drinking water supply. Many thanks to CCFD for their support and trust in such an extreme threat to lives and property,” said engineer Bill Miller, Deputy Special Operations Coordinator.
“We are grateful for a safe response and outcome,” said Fort Myers Fire Chief Trenton Bowen. “This was due to all the hard work, expertise, and collaborative effort of all the agencies involved.”