Propane tank explosion causes blaze, closes freeway in South Park - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Propane tank explosion causes blaze, closes freeway in South Park

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A 300-gallon propane tank exploded at a soft-drink distribution center in South Park today, causing no injuries but sparking an intense fire that prompted widespread evacuations and shut down a stretch of nearby State Route 15.

A worker at John Lenore & Co., 1250 Delevan Drive, made a 911 call about 4:10 p.m. to report the blast and subsequent blaze at the back of the warehouse, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Emergency crews arrived to find a thick column of black smoke pouring into the air and drifting across the freeway lanes just to the east.

Police officers began clearing people out of a roughly mile-wide circumference surrounding the business and the California Highway Patrol shut down the southbound lanes of SR-15 in the area as firefighters attacked the intense flames from the ground and aboard two water-dropping helicopters.

The blaze, which burned sections of the warehouse along with small patches of vegetation on a hillside behind the plant, was largely under control within 45 minutes, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

Firefighters remained at the scene in the early evening, dousing smoldering sections of the building.

The freeway was fully open again by about 5:30 p.m., the CHP reported.

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