(Heidi Berebitsky photo)

MILTON — Fire officials say a leaking valve on an 60,000 gallon liquid propane tank led to an hours-long emergency response Monday in Milton.

Roads in the area were closed and an estimated three homes, and three businesses were evacuated for approximately 10 hours.

There were no injuries.

According to a news release, Lakeside Fire-Rescue, a part of the Edgerton Fire Protection District, was alerted by the Rock County 9-1-1 Center at 5:19 a.m. on Monday, July 1, 2024 for a report of an LP gas leak at Milton Propane on the southwest side of Milton. 

First arriving units from Lakeside Fire-Rescue Station 3 (Milton Station) observed an LP vapor cloud in the area being driven to the South by the prevailing winds.

Lakeside crews working closely with Milton Police and Rock County Sheriff’s Office quickly closed off John Paul Road, Vincent Street, and the surrounding area. 

It was determined the leak was coming from a valve on the bottom of an approximate 60,000 gallon liquid propane tank, and fire crews along with employees of Milton Propane began to assess the best way to safely access the area of the leak when the leak “froze over” due to the temperature of the leaking propane. 

This stopped the immediate flow, but then presented a challenge as to how to safely off-load the contents of the storage tank to prevent additional releases of propane gas, according to the news release. 

Rock County Emergency Management and the Rock County Hazardous Materials Response Team were requested to assist in coordinating and mitigating the situation. The City of Madison Hazardous Materials Response Team was also requested for addition air monitoring equipment. 

Off-loading of the leaking 60,000 gallon tank began at approximately 1:53 p.m., and was complete by 4:10 p.m. 

In all firefighters from Lakeside, Janesville, Evansville and Madison Fire departments were involved, along with personnel from Rock County Emergency Management, and Law Enforcement units from the City of Milton Police Department and the Rock County Sheriff’s Office who coordinated evacuation and securing a safe area around the facility during the incident.

Additional agencies that supported Incident Command during the incident included City of Milton Department of Public Works, Rock County Department of Public Works, Alliant Energy, Rock Energy Cooperative, Rock County Communications Center, City of Beloit Police Department and SWEPT.