Gas cylinder fire put Wakefield Council workshops at risk of explosion

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Council workshops had to be evacuated for more than two hours this morning when an a ‘very dangerous’ gas cylinder caught fire.

Firefighters were called to Wakefield Council’s transport workshops on Bradford Road, at around 9.45am.

Watch Commander Richard Hames said a welder had been using the acetylene cylinder when a fault occurred and it burst into flames.

He said: “It’s a very dangerous cylider and there usually has to be a 200m evacuation zone. We had to contact the manufacturer and take their advice on the best plan of attack, because we knew the last thing we needed to do was put the flames out, or we would have been left with a gas leak and a risk of explosion.

“We isolated the cylinder and switched it off, which stopped the gas escape, which was fuelling the flames and the fire went out. We then followed the process of making sure it was cool.”

He said the building was evacuated for two-and-a-half hours and two fire engines and a hazmat officer, who specialises in hazardous materials attended. No one was hurt in the incident.