Residents evacuated from homes following acetylene fire at Kwik Fit

Police put cordon in place and ten houses are evacuated on advice of Health and Safety Executive

Residents evacuated from homes following acetylene fire at Kwik Fit
An acetylene fire broke out at a Kwik Fit branch. Image: Google Street View 2017.

Emergency services responded to a fire at Kwik Fit in Guisborough earlier this week.

Witnesses reported seeing “gas canisters” on fire underneath a van on the fast fit’s forecourt.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Fire Brigade later confirmed that an acetylene cylinder was on fire and police were called in to assist in evacuating nearby properties.

Risk of explosion

Acetylene is an extremely flammable gas and can form an explosive atmosphere in the presence of air or oxygen.

If a cylinder filled with compressed acetylene gas is exposed to a flashback, starts to warm up or vibrate, or if such a cylinder was involved in a fire, it’s likely to explode, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

The Health and Safety Executive said: “Such cylinders pose a risk to anyone in their vicinity and it is strongly advised that they should not be approached until they are made safe.

“It is recommended that an area of 200 meters around the heated cylinder is evacuated immediately and the Fire and Rescue Service is called straight away.

Evacuation

“The Fire and Rescue Services have specific procedures for dealing with cylinders containing acetylene.

“It is strongly advised you do not attempt to move such a cylinder nor make any attempt to release its pressure by venting it as this could accelerate decomposition.”

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