Lightning erupts crude oil tanks in NE Sedgwick County

WICHITA, Kansas – Crews were called to a fire in northeast Sedgwick County early Thursday morning.

That’s where lightning apparently ignited two oil tanks.

“We looked out, and it was just this bright orange glow outside, and then we went around behind the back of the house and looked out and there was a fire,” said Bill Evans, neighbor.

Several fire crews were called to battle the blaze at 12151 E. 53rd Street North.

About 4:30 a.m., crews on the scene reported heavy flames pouring from the tanks.

“Eyewitnesses from about a mile north there saw the lightning strike the ground, and then, a giant fireball come from that exact spot,” said Captain John Troyer, Sedgwick County Fire Rescue.

Authorities on the scene allowed the fire to burn itself out.

“Initial reports were about 2,000 gallons and that was pretty close to what was in there, large, large amounts of fire. The flames were actually about 50 to 60 feet tall at one point,” added Troyer. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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