A truck driver has been hailed as a hero for his actions during a fire and explosion at a Washington propane supplier.
The incident happened shortly after noon on Friday at Vashon Energy on Vashon Island.
There were three employees — two women and truck driver Owen Dailey — inside Vashon Energy when witnesses reported an intense explosion and fire at the business.
Two motorists passing by stopped and said that they watched Dailey leap from the building after the explosion “like Captain America.” The motorists helped one of the other employees to escape. The third employee was able to make it out of the building under her own power.
Dailey had suffered serious injury in the explosion. He had second and third degree burns on his face, neck, and legs. He was wearing a raincoat at the time of the blast and the fabric reportedly melted on his skin.
In spite of these injuries, Dailey leapt into action as the building burned and fire threatened to spread to the 12,000 gallon main propane storage tank beside the building.
There were two propane trucks near the burning building, one of which was being filled. Dailey and one of the motorists emptied fire extinguishers on the building to try to keep the fire from spreading to the trucks.
Then Dailey was able to move the propane trucks to keep them away from the flames. According to his wife, “The emergency brake was on. So, he said he just punched the gas hoping he could get the truck away from the building and then he ran over and moved the other truck out of the way.”
It took firefighters about 90 minutes to get the blaze under control. The building was a total loss, but they were able to keep the main propane storage tank from exploding.
The two female employees were transported to the hospital for treatment of non life threatening injuries. Dailey was airlifted to the hospital for treatment of serious burns. He is expected to recover.
Firefighters are still unsure whether an explosion caused the fire or a fire sparked the explosion. The incident is still under investigation.