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NEWS STORIES

Lac du Flambeau Residents Evacuated for Propane SpillSubmitted: 10/24/2012

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com

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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Dozens of people in Lac du Flambeau are back in their homes after a propane leak.

They were forced to evacuate after about 400 gallons of propane were released into the air from a home on East Fence Lake Road.

"A leak of this magnitude is not common. Normally, it's a smaller amount of material that escapes from a residential supply line or something like that. A 400 gallon spill is a significant spill," said Jim Galloway, an emergency manager with Vilas County.

An area within about a half-mile radius was evacuated. No one was injured or taken for medical treatment.

It happened as a propane supplier was putting in a new tank.

"There was a device within the tank that was supposed to prevent the loss of material when the line was disconnected. That valve apparently had failed," Galloway said.

Lac du Flambeau fire and ambulance first ordered the evacuation of the immediate area.

An evacuation means no one outside of emergency responders is allowed in the area.

"We at the county level followed that up with a Code Red telephone message to all of the people that were within the affected area, and instructed them to evacuate, and also to turn off the pilot lights to their hot water heaters and furnaces," Galloway said.

East Fence Lake Road was closed for more than an hour.

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