“Windthorst Volunteer Fire Department did an amazing, fantastic job,” said Department of Public Safety Sergeant Dan Buesing. The comment was an assessment of a disastrous situation involving a tank truck that ignited near some above ground tanks adjacent to Joe’s Kwik Stop and Suzette’s on US Hwy 281 in Windhtorst. The situation, which occurred last Tuesday afternoon about 1:30pm, could have been a lot more serious without the quick intervention of WVFD. The buildings near the tank truck were not damaged, but 4 other vehicles in the vicinity sustained damage.
Unfortunately Beusing also released an official statement confirming one fatality at the scene. The fatality was presumed to the be the driver of the tank truck, but further details concerning the deceased’s name and details of the accident had not yet been released at press time. Further information is expected after an investigation and the notification of the next of kin.
It was a dangerous and critical situation for about 2 hours with not only the Windthorst VFD on the scene, but also Archer City VFD, Scotland VFD, Bowman VFD, and Wichita Falls Fire Department. The threat of a secondary explosion was a possibility until the fire was completely under control. The above ground tanks next to the flaming truck were continuously drenched with water while the tank truck burned. Smoke billowed high and could be seen for miles away.
Traffic on US 281 was redirected with the help of the Archer City Police Department. The investigation of the incident is to be handled by the Archer County Sheriff’s office unless a request for assistance is made to the Texas Department of Public Safety.