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Citgo and Braintree Officials to Practice Fighting Fires with Foam on June 5

Training between Citgo and the Braintree Fire Department will take place on Tuesday, June 5.

Following weeks of back and forth between Citgo and Braintree officials over a request to add non-petroleum based fuels to the company's storage permit, the license board , contingent on a training agreement with the fire department.

That training is now scheduled for Tuesday, June 5 at the Quincy Avenue terminal and will take place in two phases, Fire Chief Kevin Murphy said. The first will involve Citgo personnel and about 15 firefighters injecting a training foam – meant to stand in for a mixture specific to fighting ethanol fires – into pipes that run from the ground a distance away from the tanks, up the side and into the top of the tanks.

Because it is an exercise, the foam will be shunted out of the pipe before it reaches the tank and mixes with the fuel, Murphy said. During the second phase, firefighters will use a foam gun to practice fighting a fire outside of the tank environment.

"We want to be comfortable with their equipment, our equipment, and make sure we’re ready if something happens down there," Murphy said.

Since applying for the license change last November and consulting with town officials, Citgo has purchased nearly $17,000 worth of hose and a pump that can produce different proportions of alcohol-resistant foam of the kind that can battle an ethanol blaze. Petroleum fire, for instance, requires a 3 percent foam mix, while ethanol needs 6 percent.

Murphy and company officials also reached an agreement that Citgo would pay for half the cost of the training. Murphy previously estimated that the exercise could cost Braintree as much as $5,000, which he said has been transferred to the department for that purpose. A final number will be available when the roster of firefighters participating in the training is finalized, Murphy said.

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