Monitoring firm acts quickly to notify authorities about blast

The Right Response
SSN Staff  - 
Thursday, September 1, 2005

ST. LOUIS--On June 24, Centerpoint Technologies received a fire alarm signal from a warehouse at Praxair, a gas packaging plant, where propane tanks ignited and triggered a large explosion inside the complex.
Working in tandem with Burnes-Citadel Security, the monitoring firm dispatched the local fire department to the scene, a residential area outside of downtown St. Louis.
Although the intensity of the late afternoon explosion caused a 20-block area around the plant to be evacuated, no one was seriously injured. The firefighters' response time did prevent causalities from the explosion, said Chris Burnes, president and vice president of sales at Centerpoint Technologies.
According to local news reports, investigators suspect the explosion began near a flatbed trailer loaded with propane tanks. A plant employee operating a forklift noticed a fire atop of a flatbed trailer, and he hit an alarm button on the wall to evacuate the plant.
A chain of expolsions caused hundreds of compressed five-foot gas cylinders to explode, sending fireballs more than 100 feet into the sky.
The containers were propelled into surrounding neighborhoods, Burnes said.
Burnes noted in a response like this, a monitoring firm has to be quick and efficient to notify the fire department.
"We feel very proud of our role in that there were no casualties in what was a very dangerous situation."