My daughter and I were out in the yard on Tuesday night trying to get the chickens and ducks back into the coop when the trucks started roaring by. Sirens blasting, we watched the Joshua Fire Department and ambulance crew roar down our country road. A few minutes later trucks from the Burleson fire department came through. They were followed by help from Crowley and Godley and Tarrant County and Rendon and others and the sound of the parade was deafening.
“Wherever they’re headed, kiddo,” I told her, “let’s hope nobody is hurt.”
According to reports that came out in the last two days, no one was.
The fire started on a Chesapeake pad just off County Road 913 in Joshua at their Urrey well site. A well was near finish of the fraccing process when a truck caught fire. The fire spread to engulf eight tractors, five pumps and other specialized equipment. Firemen at the scene said it was an extraordinarily hot fire.
Jerri Robbins, spokesperson for Chesapeake said no natural gas was involved. She also said Chesapeake has started an internal investigation into the cause of the fire.
Okay, first off, I’m very very happy no one was hurt. Secondly, though, I’m upset that the fire happened at all, and don’t even want to imagine what the consequences would have been had the well gone up. I’ve friends who live closer to it than I do.
This is the fourth fairly major near-catastrophe here in our neck of the woods in the last couple of years. There was the head blown off a separator tank in Lillian; a couple of lightning proof water separator tanks that were blown to kingdom come by lightning in Godley, and now this.
Fortunately, we live out in the country, where wells are not generally dug right next to homes. Fort Worth is a different story. You’re not always going to be able to get aid from 11 different fire companies on some of those narrow streets. And that’s when near-catastrophe becomes catastrophe.
I’ll cross my fingers; I’ll think good thoughts, but I’m watching the incidents pile up.
I’ve been out to the site a couple of times. An armed guard greets me cordially and tells me the site is closed to visitors, even journalists. I think he means especially journalists. Nobody wants photos published of all that blackened equipment.
I’m not much of a gambler, but if human life were not in the mix, I’d take the odds it’s going to happen in town.


  1. According to Chesapeake’s Ass, er, I mean spokesman at the other Caddo incident–the irony burns–where 16 cattle got fracked, that mixture they blend up in those blenders is OVER 99% fresh water. Water almost never burns.

    Sure would be interesting to know what’s in that stuff. Too bad we can’t know cause of the trade secret and all.

  2. Equipment fires happen all the time. This fire could have been caused by any number of reaons. Most equipment fires start via an equipment failure of some kind, such as an oil line being blown off of a turbo on a diesel engine. Oil is flamable which then ignites grease and other flamable fluids that accumulate around every piece of equipment.