2-alarm fire burns in downtown Phoenix - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

2 men critically burned in smoky fire near Phoenix airport

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Photo via Shane Spence Photo via Shane Spence
PHOENIX - An oil tanker exploded near downtown Phoenix Tuesday morning, creating a massive plume of smoke that could be seen across the valley.

The two-alarm fire burned for about an hour, resulting in the shut down of the light rail and one of Sky Harbor Airport's runways.

The fire was burning at the Fuels LLC business near 24th Street and Jefferson.

It was just after 7 a.m. when the explosions started.

"We just walked out and there was flames all over," said Martin Arellano.

Arellano, an Arizona Iron Supply employee, stepped outside to see thick, heavy plumes of smoke and sky high flames at the oil tanker yard across the street.  He captured video of the blasts on his cell phone.

"We just started hearing boom and the whole house would shake," said Katie Foster.

The situation terrified those who heard what was happening and watched as firefighters arrived at the scene.  Crews set up ladder truck and used spray foam  as tens of thousands of gallons of oil burned.

Captain Benjamin Santallan says two employees were off-loading a tanker when it spontaneously combusted.

"There was a large amount of oil and that was the biggest problem we were having because with oil, it leaves off vapors and that's what's burning."

The two employees off loading the oil were badly injured.  According to the Phoenix Fire Department, one man suffered burns to 15 percent of his body, while the other man suffered burns to 50 percent of his body.

Sky Harbor reopened its north runways a short time after the fire was out, but crews remained on scene for most of the morning to make sure nothing would flare back up.

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