$2 Million Fire at Amalie


A fire at the Amalie Oil Co. bulk oil storage facility in Tampa, Fla., last Wednesday caused no serious injuries but nearly $2 million in damages.

At about 1 a.m. a fire ignited inside the boiler room and threatened the surrounding structures, said Tampa Fire Rescue captain Bill Wade. According to a Tampa Fire Rescue report, the facilitys large oil storage tanks suffered fire damage and many thousand gallons of product were damaged by the heat of the fire. The lubricant manufacturer stores motor oil, coolants and brake fluids in amounts ranging from 1,500 to 1.2 million gallons at the site.

An estimated 50 firefighters, rescue squads and one hazardous materials team responded to the fire that was brought under control in an hour. Thirty employees were inside the facility at the time of the incident, but all exited the area safely, explained Wade.

Senior Vice President Dennis Madden told Lube Report, The fire was very much contained to two motors associated with our VM [viscosity modifier] solubilization unit, and some electrical wiring that leads to our building was damaged, but power was restored within a few hours. No one was injured, and no real or permanent damage was sustained. Our building is fine. Other than the VM that was in the unit, we didnt lose any oil.

Located at the Port of Tampa on Floridas Gulf of Mexico Coast since 1956, the 450,000 square foot manufacturing, packaging and shipping facility is Amalie Oils main production site. The facility has over 20 million gallons of bulk blending and storage capacity. The company ships lubricants to all 50 states and to over 70 foreign nations. Amalie Oil maintains satellite offices in Jacksonville, Fla., and Los Angeles.

All safety procedures were in effect, and thats why damage was minor and not major, said Amalie Oil Vice President Al Vittorino. Although the fire is still under investigation, Madden said that we feel pretty certain that we know the cause of the fire, but the Tampa Fire Department has to issue their official report before we can comment on the cause.

The Sept. 26 blaze is the second fire-related incident in September to strike an oil company. A small electrical fire triggered a blaze inside a storage warehouse last month at the Warrenton Oil Co. in Truesdale, Mo., that burned down the lubricant and fuel distributors corporate offices and warehouse, and injured two firefighters.

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