Casper, WY Oil Tank Fire, Jun 1922

During an electrical storm on Sunday afternoon, June 18, 1922, lightning struck two tanks containing crude oil belonging to the -Mid-west Refining company, one of the tanks containing 55,000 barrels of oil and the other 85,000 barrels. They were located on the north side of the Platte river, northwest from the city of Casper, where seven tanks were totally destroyed by lightning and fire on June 17, 1921, just a year and a day previous. The fire in the larger tank was extinguished in a very short time, but the oil in the 55,000-barrel tank burned for an hour or more before the flames could be subdued with foamite. The loss sustained was about $10,000. Again, on August 4, 1922, at 12:30, after midnight, two thunderous claps of lightning in quick succession struck two oil tanks, one on the north side of the North Platte river, in the Midwest tank farm, and one in the southwestern portion of the Standard refining works on the south side of the river. The crash of the lightning and the tongues of the flames which shot high into the sky, lighting up the surrounding country for several miles, caused hundreds of people to rush from their beds to the scene of the conflagration. for it looked as though the whole of the refining plat would be burned, and it was estimated that fully 5,000 people had made their way to the plant where they could view the flames. The sky was a living red, the flames leaping upward in great rolling masses; the jagged tongues of flames turned the sky into a livid sea of orange and scarlet, and great black clouds rolled up for hundreds of feet into the air, but soon the foamite pumps were put in action and the intense light commenced to sink, and within an hour the glare of light was extinguished and the fire was under control, with a loss estimated at about $12,000.

This brought the total up to sixteen tanks that had been struck by lightning in two years, eleven in 1921 and five in 1922.

History of Natrona County, Wyoming, 1888-1922 by Alfred James Mokler, 1923