Bay aircraft hangar goes up in flames

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

BAY, AR (KAIT) -A flying service goes up... In flames!

All that's left of a private plane after a hangar fire this morning near bay is a warped metal skeleton. But what is in the run off is what has fire fighters concerned.

The first crews arrived a little after 10 on Thursday morning.

Poor Boys flying service is actually 3 connected buildings. The highest concentration of fire was in the North and Middle sections.

6 Fire Departments responded. Bay Fire Chief Kevin McMasters gives full credit to all responders.

"This could have very easily been an entirely different scenario if we hadn't had this much help from this many resources. At one time I checked with my water supply officer and we had 32 Thousand gallons of water on the ground."

The heat was so intense in the small hangar that it melted and warped the steel support beams and melted the propane tank on a fork lift besides destroying a light aircraft.

The main hangar on the South end was where the ag planes were stored. The Minks owned 3 ag planes but only 1 was here in the hangar when firefighters arrived. The other 2 had been flown to Hayti, Missouri for annual inspections.

Chief McMasters said they pulled the doors off the big hangar. "And while 2 sets of crews were maintaining the fire another set went in with some civilian help running a tractor and managed to pull the plane out and take it out of the way."

It appears that the plane was undamaged but was now badly in need of a wash down.

As the fire came under control it was evident that several kinds of liquids were coming from the building. The predominant colors were green and milky white.

David Moore the Craighead County OEM Coordinator, was on hand as the fire progressed. "Early reports was that it was mostly petroleum products, oil, anti-freeze, maybe some fuel, chemicals things that have to do with the mechanical end of it."

ADEQ was called in to evaluate what may have spilled, how much damage caused and proper clean up procedures. The owner Randy Mink told me that all he could recall being in the hanger was some anti-freeze and smoke-generating oil, no chemicals since the season was pretty much over.

Moore, "Oh if it was in the middle of flying season where they would have a whole lot of chemicals on hand it could have been a whole lot worse than what they are looking at now."

ADEQ officials were looking at salvaged labels off burned jugs and formulating a cleanup plan.

To avoid spread and contamination earth dams were temporarily placed around the pools of liquid materials. No cause for the fire has yet been determined.

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