Upstate fire dept. equipped with specialized fuel, chemical fire extinguisher

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An Upstate fire department is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment in case a chemical fire, like the one in Texas, were to erupt locally. 

The Croft Fire Department has brand new fire trucks and specialized equipment, including the Ranger Foam Cannon. 

“This foam cannon is capable of flowing 4,000 gallons per minute of foam solution,” said Fire Chief Lewis Hayes. 

Hayes tells 7News millions of gallons of gasoline, diesel, and heating fuel are stored in the Croft-area of Spartanburg County. 

He says a chemical fire, like the one in Texas, could happen here. 

“There is a possibility that we could have a tank fire,” Hayes said. “Probably not of the magnitude that you saw in Houston.” 

Hayes says that’s why in 2015, through donations from Colonial Pipeline and Croft Petro-Chemical Coalition, the fire department purchased the $50,000 dollar Ranger Foam Cannon. They also received money for firefighters to receive training on how to use it. 

The foam cannon is designed to extinguish large chemical or fuel fires by suffocating the vapors that feed the fire. 

“Water won’t extinguish a chemical or a gasoline or diesel fire. You have to use water and foam,” the Fire Chief told 7News. 

Hayes says right now the fire department has enough foam mixture on hand to put out a fire at the largest fuel storage tank in the county. That’s about $500,000 worth of foam mixture, according to Hayes. 

The Croft Fire Chief says the foam apparatus had only been handled in training sessions. That was until Sunday when Union County requested it for a fire at Southeast Emulsions.

“It’s actually the kind of piece of equipment that you purchase and hope you never have to use,” said Hayes. 

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