Lightning associated with a line of strong thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon is believed to be the catalyst that started a fire at an active oil production site in Beauregard Parish. The site on Pete Gimnick Road was believed to have been struck by lightning during a thunderstorm sometime between 12:45 and 1 pm Tuesday afternoon.

According to reports two tanks were fully involved and eventually collapsed. This according to Beauregard Ward Six Fire Protection District No. One. That department responded to the scene as part of a mutual aid request from Beauregard Fire District 2.

Firefighters noted that the blaze had spread from the tanks to the ground surrounding them. Crews used a deluge gun and fire fighting foam to control and eventually extinguish the blaze before any other equipment could be damaged.

Bruce Mikels

As a precaution and as is normal procedure when incidents such as this occur, representatives from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as well as members of the Louisiana State Police Hazardous Materials team were on hand as well.

Beauregard Ward Six Fire Protection District No. One

A further inspection of the facility once the flames had been extinguished found that there were no off-site impacts because of the fire. There were also no injuries reported by workers on the job site nor by fire professionals called in to put the fire out.

Every year millions of dollars in damage are done by lightning strikes. The oil industry certainly has had its share of incidents related to lightning. That's why lightning safety not only on the job but in your day-to-day life is so important. However, lightning isn't the only natural disaster that can affect not only lives but livelihoods across the country. 

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