Half Mile Area Evacuated Outside Roanoke Co. Business

Roanoke Co., VA- Roanoke County Fire and Rescue took no chances Monday, evacuating the area after workers at a fuel farm off Starkey Road raised the alarm.

The alarm went out about just before 2 p.m. as workers were filling a 40,000 gallon storage tank when there was an electrical issue.

While officials on the scene are taking the issue seriously, they are downplaying the chance of any sort of fire or explosion.

The chance does exist, however, which is why crews decided to evacuate civilians within a half mile of the farm, located on Terminal Road.

The evacuation process did not include any homes, as the immediate area is primarily industrial.

The problem is that too much gasoline vapor has built up between the high-grade gasoline and a protective dome that is designed to float in on top of that product limiting vapor.

Workers from Marothon Oil are trying to fix that issue with a transfer of gas from one storage tank to the next.

"They hope to pump enough product into the tank where it reaches the bottom of that dome. When the product reaches that it will eliminate that vapor area," Chief Richard Burch with the Roanoke County Fire Department said.

Current estimates show the work could take another two to four hours to complete.

Until then, the department has closed down Terminal Road and they remain on standby in the event of trouble.

Stay with ABC 13 for any further updates.