Lightning blows top off oil tank near Stoughton, sparks fire

Three oil tanks in southeastern Saskatchewan went up in flames after a lightning strike.

Fire chief calls such fires common

A lightning storm near Borden, Sask., in 2015. Pat Slater, fire chief for the community of Stoughton, says fire crews were called out around suppertime on Tuesday after lightning ripped the top off an oil tank, sparking a fire. (Submitted by Jeff Wizniak)

Three oil tanks in southeastern Saskatchewan have gone up in flames after a lightning strike.

Pat Slater, fire chief for the community of Stoughton, said fire crews were called out around suppertime on Tuesday.

Slater said three storage units were ablaze and one had clearly been struck by lightning. He said the tank was split wide open and the top was blown off.

Slater said such fires are common because oil facilities have tall, metal pipes sticking up in the air in the middle of empty fields.

He said the pipes make perfect lightning rods.