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Evacuated neighbors return home as propane truck fire finally fizzles out Thursday morning

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JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- An overturned propane truck finally went out Thursday morning.

A truck company is now on the scene assessing the damage. Police are expected to investigate the accident later today, with the tow truck company is expected to try and get the truck out.

The accident happened about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, around a sharp curve on South Lake Road at Jackson Square Road. It's why some neighbors are concerned about how and where the truck went off the road.

Neighbor Bill Ridele said "a propane truck went over the embankment, hit the guard rail, rolled about 20 feet straight down hill, took out a tree. It was laying on its side, blowing flames about 20 feet in the air."

Another neighbor, who also happens to be a firefighter came to help rescue the driver out of the truck to safety.

Lincoln Fire Company fire police captain Terry McCandless said "they told me there was somebody in the cab. My neighbor, John Miller and I, and another firefighter cut him out of the cab."

"They pulled him out. He's pretty mangled up. I was told he was in shock trauma, I'm not sure, but he was coherent when he came out," Ridele said.

Crews worried an overturned propane truck in a heavily wooded area could set off a dangerous chain of events.

York County HazMat response team chief Ray Kinsey said "we evacuated immediately, because we were concerned that we didn't have enough water to cook the tank and immediately, therefore we were going to have a major explosion."

While officials evacuated ten homes near the scene of the accident, having a propane tanker catch fire in a residential area isn't the only thing that concerns some neighbors.

After all, it's not the first time they've seen an accident like this one.

"Seven accidents a year here," Ridele said.

Neighbor Gail Carroll said "I don't think people realize it's going to be a turn, just going too fast."

Husband Thom Carroll said "and they don't realize the turn is that sharp, and they just go off the road, although there have been cars come down and go right through the yard here."

Fire hoses aren't the only tools of the trade that crews used to fight the flames.

"They were able to bring the drone into the area, drop the drone down so we could get a better look without putting people in danger. We actually got right on top of the tank," Kinsey said.

As crews wait for the fire to burn itself out, one of the men who rescued the truck driver from the burning tanker doesn't see himself as a hero.

"You just do what you have to do when you get here. That's what we're trained for, and it come in handy. If it saves a life, it's worth it," McCandless said.

Officials haven't said what caused the accident, but some neighbors are concerned about the safety of the roadway.

Power was cut off to the area throughout the day, and restored late in the afternoon.

A towing crew will arrive in the morning to devise a plan to remove the wreckage.