Fire Captain Injured in Petroleum Explosion

LINCOLN, DE – A captain with the Lewes Fire Department received burns on a majority of his body following an explosion after he cut open a waste oil tank.

21-year-old Jake Slater was working at Delmarva Petroleum when he tried to cut open the tank with a chop saw, according to the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office.

A spark from the saw ignited vapors in the tank, causing a flash fire. Slater received first- and second-degree burns, according to Sussex County EMS who treated him at the scene.

The Lewes captain was then transported to Beebe Medical Center where he was treated before being transferred to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that the fire was the result of a worker using a chop saw to cut open a waste oil tank. Sparks from the saw ignited the vapors and caused the explosion and flash fire.