Columbus ambulance catches fire after oxygen tank explodes

COLUMBUS, Neb. (KLKN) — The Columbus Fire Department says an ambulance burst into flames on Monday after at least one of the onboard oxygen tanks exploded.

The department says it was dispatched around midnight to the Husker Helicopter hangar just north of town.

Fire Chief Ryan Gray says crews arrived to find a priority medical ambulance on fire.

They were able to quickly quench the flames, but the ambulance is a total loss.

The ambulance crew said there was an electrical error message displayed on the unit when they began to smell smoke, according to a press release. Moments later, the vehicle caught fire.

“Thankfully the ambulance crew recognized the potential problem and parked the unit outside instead of in the ambulance bay where they normally park,” Assistant Fire Chief Nathan Jones said on the city’s website. “If they had parked the unit inside there would have been a much greater potential for significant structural damage and injuries.”

The explosion did cause moderate damage to a nearby structure.

Officials say the fire was “deemed to be electrical in nature.”

Categories: Nebraska News, News