Attempt to drill into SUV gas tank ignites fuel, MFD says

No injuries reported; fire out as crews arrive
Attempt to drill into SUV gas tank ignites fuel, MFD says

An attempt to drain an old SUV’s gas tank Tuesday afternoon caused a fire on Madison’s east side, fire officials said.

The Madison Fire Department said it received multiple reports at about 12:30 p.m. of thick black smoke coming from a property in the 2300 block of South Stoughton Road.

According to the report, when crews arrived, several people were gathered at the rear of an auto repair business. A gas tank from an SUV was lying on the cement.

The shop’s employees told firefighters they removed the gas tank from an older-model Chevy Blazer and were attempting to drain approximately 4 gallons of gasoline from it. To empty the tank, one employee attempted to drill a hole in it and ignited the fuel in the process.

Employees put out the fire using a dry chemical extinguisher before the fire department arrived, the report said. Firefighters cooled the tank with a garden hose supplied by employees and placed a product around the tank to absorb the excess fuel that had spilled.

Nobody reported any injuries, the fire department said. A supervisor told firefighters that the shop doesn’t normally use a drill for to drain old gas tanks and it wasn’t clear why it was attempted.