Storage tanks explode, burn again in Brighton
Great Western Oil and Gas storage tanks on the north side of Brighton exploded and burned Thursday — the second time in three weeks that crews were called to fight a blaze at the site.
Two workers unloading materials at 821 Weld County Road 27 reported an explosion at 2:12 p.m., Brighton Fire Department spokeswoman Natalie Ridderbos said. The tanks are just southwest of the Vestas factory where blades for wind-power systems are built.
The oil workers weren’t hurt, she said.
Great Western officials “had to turn off the natural gas lines before we could fight the fire,” Ridderbos said. “It is for our safety.”
Nearby homes were not evacuated.
Stan Hiller, 61, whose farm is about 200 yards north of tanks, said Thursday’s fire wasn’t as big as the one on Sept. 20.
“But it makes you nervous,” said Hiller, who has oil and gas operations on his property. “I thought those tanks would start blowing up in sequence … just part of the business.”
Crews from Brighton, North Metro, South Adams and Fort Lupton fire departments responded and will manage the fire until the oil burns out, Ridderbos said. “The last time this happened, it was a few hours.”
There was an investigation of the previous fire, but officials couldn’t say what the outcome of that probe was.
“We are working with the operator to find out why this happened again,” Ridderbos said.
Early on, a plume of smoke was visible from U.S. 85. But later, Ridderbos said not much was visible as crews poured two streams of water on the fire. “You’re mostly seeing water on the fire,” she said. “No plumes of smoke.”