Firefighters torch-out leaking gas tank in Orlando neighborhood

Orange County firefighters prepped for an all-nighter as a roaring fire they started burned off a propane leak in East Orlando.

At about 4 p.m. Thursday, Orange County Fire Rescue was called to the intersection of Jamajo Boulevard and Rixey Street, near the Orlando Executive Airport, for a smell of gas at a home in the area.

When firefighters arrived, they discovered an old, forgotten propane tank buried in the home’s yard had been damaged and was leaking.

"It got sheared off by a lawn mower,” said Lt. Michael Ramos, “unknown when that happened, but it was a small leak."

Ramos said the homeowners were evacuated and both Amerigas and Sams Gas both investigated the tank determining that the gas would have to be burned off.

Firefighters set up a line to run the gas to a torch in the middle of the street and burn it into the air. Ramos said with the gas burning a safe distance from homes and the tank, no other homes in the neighborhood were evacuated. However, the intersection of the neighborhood streets remained closed Thursday night as the torch burned.

How long the burn would take was unknown as of Thursday night. Ramos said the tank was likely a holdover from a time before modern utilities were installed in the area, and as a result there was no way of knowing just how full the tank was.

"It could be up to over 12 hours, so yeah, it'll be a long night,” said Ramos.