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Ben Friske, a firefighter with the Bemidji Fire Department, monitors the liquid propane gas that was vented from a delivery truck Monday along Fern lake Road Southwest. A leak was detected in the truck and mechanical problems apparently prohibited the valve from being shut. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Road closed after propane leak

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A propane leak necessitated the closure of a Beltrami County road Monday.

Fern Lake Road Southwest, located in Grant Valley Township, was closed at about 10 a.m. after a leak was detected in a propane delivery truck.

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The driver of the delivery truck, which was from Grand Rapids, Minn., realized that he was having mechanical problems and that propane was leaking, said Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer.

The vehicle pulled over to the east side of Fern Lake Road, about 1.5 miles south of Becida Road Southwest, and the driver and passenger of the truck began securing the area and alerting traffic, he said.

The 911 call referencing the hazardous materials incident was made at 10 a.m., according to a press release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management.

Fern Lake Road was immediately blocked off. One resident was evacuated for safety reasons. Other residents were given the option of evacuating.

Emergency personnel tried three times to shut the valve on the truck, Hoefer said, but it would not close.

So, crews had to just let the truck leak out.

The 3,000-gallon tank was 76 percent full, he said.

The tank was filled with liquid propane gas; it was vented into the atmosphere.

No one was injured in the incident.

Hoefer said it helped that the leak occurred in a rural area.

Further, the wind helped to dissipate the gas.

Emergency crews remained on site to make sure there were no associated problems.

Liquid propane gas is extremely flammable, he noted.

Residents were urged to stay away from the scene. Traffic was diverted to Leonardsway Road Southwest.

Responding to the incident were the Bemidji Fire Department, Beltrami County Sheriff's office and Bemidji Ambulance Service.

A Minnesota Department of Transportation tank specialist also assisted at the scene.

Y bwesley@bemidjipioneer.com

A propane leak necessitated the closure of a Beltrami County road Monday.

Fern Lake Road Southwest, located in Grant Valley Township, was closed at about 10 a.m. after a leak was detected in a propane delivery truck.

The driver of the delivery truck, which was from Grand Rapids, Minn., realized that he was having mechanical problems and that propane was leaking, said Bemidji Fire Chief Dave Hoefer.

The vehicle pulled over to the east side of Fern Lake Road, about 1.5 miles south of Becida Road Southwest, and the driver and passenger of the truck began securing the area and alerting traffic, he said.

The 911 call referencing the hazardous materials incident was made at 10 a.m., according to a press release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management.

Fern Lake Road was immediately blocked off. One resident was evacuated for safety reasons. Other residents were given the option of evacuating.

Emergency personnel tried three times to shut the valve on the truck, Hoefer said, but it would not close.

So, crews had to just let the truck leak out.

The 3,000-gallon tank was 76 percent full, he said.

The tank was filled with liquid propane gas; it was vented into the atmosphere.

No one was injured in the incident.

Hoefer said it helped that the leak occurred in a rural area.

Further, the wind helped to dissipate the gas.

Emergency crews remained on site to make sure there were no associated problems.

Liquid propane gas is extremely flammable, he noted.

Residents were urged to stay away from the scene. Traffic was diverted to Leonardsway Road Southwest.

Responding to the incident were the Bemidji Fire Department, Beltrami County Sheriff's office and Bemidji Ambulance Service.

A Minnesota Department of Transportation tank specialist also assisted at the scene.

bwesley@bemidjipioneer.com

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