Block of Broadway closed off after fuel overfill
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
A routine filling of an underground fuel tank at the Imperial Kwik Stop Store turned into a two-hour ordeal Monday after the tank overfilled.
The block of Broadway between 3rd and 4th Sts. was closed off for two hours mid-afternoon while cleanup operations took place.
Fuel from a Bosselman truck was being dispensed into the underground tank between the Kwik Stop’s pumps and the Harchelroad building to the south when the overfill occurred. It spilled fuel out through the manhole cover over the top of the tank, onto the lot and east toward Broadway.
Fire Chief Nick Schultz said the safety mechanism that generally safeguards against overfills apparently failed.
Initially, the truck driver attempted to stop the flow before the firefighters arrived after a 911 call. When the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD) was on the scene, floor dry material was used to soak up the spill and attempts were made to dam it up so as not to reach the storm sewer.
That seepage into the sewer system was stopped and contained, Schultz said.
Members of the IVFD then applied foam to minimize the fumes and to neutralize the fuel, Schultz said.
“Our concern with fuel exposed on the surface is the possibility of flames or sparks that could ignite a major fire,” Schultz said.
Foaming the area is a precaution against that, he added.
The IVFD and Imperial Police Dept. remained on the scene for two hours until the driver finished paperwork and was able to leave.
The area remained roped off until a Fire Marshal’s Office fuel division investigator and an EPA official could get to the scene. That was expected on Tuesday.