KMOX file photo

St. Louis Fire Chief Says Potential Oil Fire Could be Disastrous

August 13, 2018 - 8:02 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - With a batch of new fire trucks on order, the St. Louis Fire Chief says they'll soon be more ready than ever to fight fires, but there's one kind of fire he admits he can't put out.

The kind of fire that worries Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson is a freight train fire of Bakan oil.

“I don’t have the product, the necessary amount of foam to put out an entire 100 tanker car load. We could handle two or three tankers, that wouldn’t be an issue, but as you’ve seen in the past when these things go down, we’d have 10, 15, 20 cars on fire and that’s beyond the capability of any fire department in the area,” he says.

Jenkerson says his department has spotters helping him monitor freight trains with Bakan oil coming through town, but he says if one derailed and caught fire, they could only try to contain it.