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VENTURA : Camper Fire Nearly Ignites Propane

A propane tank filled with enough fuel to “explode like a missile” was moments away from catching fire after a camper parked next to it went up in flames at a Ventura gas station late Wednesday afternoon, fire officials said.

Ventura Fire Capt. Pat Diebolt said firefighters arrived at the Coast Union 76 station at 995 S. Seaward Ave. just in time to stop the flames from engulfing a 25,000-gallon propane tank.

“The explosion would have woken up the entire neighborhood,” Diebolt said.

Authorities said the camper, owned by Jeff Lawrence of Sherman Oaks, caught fire while a gas station worker was filling it with propane.

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The flames quickly spread throughout the camper, gutting it.

The cause of the blaze, which was so hot that it bubbled the paint on the propane tank, is under investigation, Diebolt said.


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