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Crews to let storage tank fire burn itself out

NEAR PLEASANTON, Texas - Fire officials in Atascosa County believe a lightning strike is to blame for a massive storage tank fire south of Pleasanton.

Pleasanton Fire Chief Chuck Garris says lightning from an overnight storm struck one of several holding tanks, igniting a massive fire.

One worker at the rural storage tank site off Highway 281, ran to his truck and drove off to escape the flames.  He was not hurt.

The fire burned four oil storage tanks holding an estimated several hundred barrels of crude oil.

Another 17 saltwater disposal tanks also burned.

Garris says state crews are now monitoring the runoff from the fire to make sure no dangerous chemicals run into the nearby Atascosa River.  Crews are also monitoring the air quality in the area, although they do not believe there is an immediate threat to the surrounding area.

Fire crews were hoping to let the fire burn itself out, but it flared up during a severe 70 mile an hour downburst that hit the site at noon.
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