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Iowa town evacuated

The Iowa town of Bancroft evacuated when a propane tank caught fire.

BY SUSAN KIM | BANCROFT, Iowa | March 26, 2004

The Iowa town of Bancroft, in Kossuth County, evacuated Thursday afternoon and into Friday when a propane tank caught fire at a chicken hatchery in the northwest edge of town. An Iowa hazardous material crew was brought in to help divert fuel from the pipes, a task that was expected to last until the early morning hours Friday.

Lightning hit the tank which held 6,500 gallons of liquid propane at the Welp Inc.-owned hatchery.

There were no injuries.

Some 800 people were evacuated from a one-mile radius around the tank site, and those that weren't staying with family or friends were staying in City Hall.

The evacuation was led by the Bancroft Fire Department, whose members went door-to-door and street-to-street to notify residents that the town was being evacuated. Residents were told to remain outside their homes until an all-clear signal was given via the town's tornado siren.

Travelers were detoured around the town, which is located about 20 miles from the Minnesota border.

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