The incident had all the makings of a disaster last Friday afternoon at 2:30. A gasoline tanker truck had rolled over in the busy Brown Circle rotary in Revere, spilling out 11,000 gallons of fuel on to the road.
With two gas stations and several businesses nearby, the potential for igniting a massive fire was present. But thanks to the swift and heroic action of the Revere Fire Department, the situation was brought under control and tragedy was averted.
“The call came in to dispatch as a report of tanker truck rolled over at Broadway Circle in front of Ray’s Sunoco,” said Revere Fire Chief Christopher Bright.
The chief said it was miraculous that the incident didn’t escalate in a hurry.
“Someone was looking out for everybody that day,” said Bright. “There were 11,000 gallons of product flowing out of big holes in the tank. It went all over the rotary and down to Route 107 to Ward Street and continued going down culverts and storm drains.”
Revere firefighters, led by Deputy Fire Chief Glen Rich on the scene, rushed in to contain the spill. Rich immediately called a second alarm.
“Our members had their hands full from the get-go,” said Bright. “The driver had a head injury but he made it out of the truck. There were no other vehicles involved in the accident. Fortunately, we had a full manpower situation that day, so everything was in service.”
A quick decision to kill all electrical power in the area was a successful preventative measure. “We shut down the power to make sure there was no explosive hazard and no fire hazard because any spark would have lit that bwhole area on fire – a floating, burning river if you will. A disaster was averted.”
In addition to crediting his 26-member RFD contingent from every station in the city, Bright also praised the assistance of other fire companies including Massport.
“It was just a great all-around effort from all the crews and not just the fire side,” said Bright. “We have G and J Towing in the city and they brought in all their resources and manpower to help out and deal with the aftermath of the truck and have it righted. Mike Zaccaria of Action Emergency Services also helped out with his guys and the company’s equipment.”
The Revere Police Department also did a great job helping to secure the area, according to Bright.
Mayor Brian Arrigo commended the Revere Department for their efforts, adding, “Unfortunately, our Fire Department is all too familiar with rollovers at the Broadway circle, but thanks to that experience they were able to respond quickly and proficiently,” said Mayor Arrigo, With the rollover occurring perilously close to two gas stations, as well as other adjacent businesses, there was great concern about the potential for explosion and fire. At a time when our first responders are strained as the region deals with the Covid-19 crisis, we saw heroic action by the Revere Fire Department in preventing what could have been a catastrophe. We are reminded that even during the Covid-19 crisis, emergency situations do not let up: Fire Department and first responders in general are at their posts handling their duties in a professional and thorough manner that protects all of us every day, under every circumstance. “