Plane Causes Fuel Pump Fire

Photo: Ford, Brad

Photo: Bend Fire & Rescue

A twin-engine Cessna 340 prop plane had just finished refueling at the Bend Airport maneuvered away from the fueling station and the plane's wing clipped the metal awing the covers the fuel pumps.

The wing immediately ignited and the burning fuel from the aircraft spread to the pumps.

The tanks were equipped with over pressure relief valves on top and shut off valves in the system. The vents allowed the vapors from the fuel inside to escape and not allow it to build up pressure inside. The pressure would’ve led to the tanks exploding. The shut off valves kept the remaining fuel inside tanks and not spilling out.

Two above ground tanks supply the fuel pumps; one had 6,000 gallons of aviation fuel, the other 3,000 of jet fuel. Approximately 180 gallons of fuel was in the aircraft and was still leaking after the fire. Maintenance crews from Leading Edge Aviation worked to secure that leak.

Redmond Fire Department responded with one of their aircraft rescue firefighting engines (ARFF) from the Redmond Airport. This specialty fire truck is equipped with AFFF foam designed for aircraft and flammable fuel fires. The foam was used to complete the extinguishment of the aircraft and prevent the vapors from the reminding fuel from reigniting.

All water run off was contained on site and did not appear to pose any further threat.

Estimated value of the aircraft is $300,000 and is a complete loss. The fuel tanks and pump station are valued at $500,000. The loss on the pump system is estimated at $250,000.

Source: Bend Fire & Rescue

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