Businesses at Saguaro and Shea boulevards were evacuated early Sunday morning, Nov. 17, after a gasoline tanker ruptured and spilled between 2,500 4,000 gallons of its cargo.
Firefighters and hazardous materials teams converged on the intersection after the tanker truck struck a post between the McDonald’s restaurant and Circle K, tearing a hole in the tank.
Fire Chief Randy Roberts said a main concern was the number of potential sources of ignition for the gasoline that could cause an explosion and fire.
Roberts said firefighters pulled large protective hose lines to prepare for that possibility.
The gasoline was flowing north along Saguaro from Trevino Drive as far as Ledferd Lane. Fire crews built dirt dikes to contain the gasoline.
An Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) emergency responder assessed the environmental impact. An environmental clean-up contractor was called to the scene.
Town Environmental Planner Raymond Rees said he is working closely with ADEQ to assess the extent of the spill.
Rees said the fuel crossed under Saguaro Boulevard through a culvert and into a wash between the First Baptist Church and the Clear Aire subdivision.
The fuel transport company is responsible for the clean-up, and a firm has been hired to do the work. The effort will take an undetermined amount of time.
Southbound traffic on Saguaro Boulevard has been reduced to one lane from just south of Palmer Lane to Trevino Drive for the clean-up efforts.