Once on scene, fire crews determined that there was a large fuel tank holding premium octane gasoline with a possible electrical malfunction. All electrical systems were immediately shut down. The fuel tank is about 40 feet tall by 78 feet in diameter and holds 40,000 barrels of fuel when full. At this time, the tank is less than 1% full with about 2100 barrels.
At this time, fire crews are standing by while Marathon Officials devise a plan to strip (or empty) the fuel tank so that their crews can inspect the inside of the tank. This process of emptying the tanks could take up to five hours. A fire team from the Marathon Oil Company is en route to support the local fire crews on scene. A Haz Mat team from Roanoke Fire-EMS is also on scene assisting with precautionary protocols.
Fire officials have evacuated about a half-mile around the area which includes mostly businesses that have now closed for the day. No further evacuations are planned at this time.
The near-by Norfolk Southern railroad has been shut down as a precaution.
Fire Officials are requesting no media fly-overs in this area as a safety precaution