Exploding oxygen tank sparks fast-moving brush fire in Cajon Pass

CAJON PASS (KABC) -- A California Highway Patrol officer sustained serious burns, after an oxygen tank exploded while she was trying to help an injured motorcyclist in the Cajon Pass on Saturday.

The explosion sparked a brush fire along the northbound 15 Freeway, just south of Highway 138, that grew to 20 acres.

Multiple lanes on the 15 Freeway were temporarily shut down as San Bernardino County firefighters and U.S. Forest Service personnel worked to put out the fire. A nearby McDonald's and Chevron station were evacuated.

The fire jumped Highway 138 and began burning in the northern direction, which resulted in a temporary full closure of the highway from the 15 Freeway interchange to Summit Valley Road.

A motorcyclist was splitting lanes and tried to get past a bus, when it hit a piece of tire, collided with the bus and rolled over to the side of the road.

Witness Della Miller, a passenger on a bus involved in the incident, said his friend then stopped to help him and the bus stopped.

California Highway Patrol responded to the scene and one officer attempted to help the fallen motorcyclist. When she opened up an oxygen tank, it exploded, Miller said.

"It was very traumatizing. The flames were so fast, that they just excelled very quickly," Miller said.

One person sustained traumatic injuries in the incident. A CHP officer sustained serious burns. She was transported to the burn center at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

Firefighters spent the night mopping up the flames.

The fire comes just weeks after a fast-moving blaze charred 3,500 acres and dozens of cars and homes.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.