Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Local man recovering from Christmas Eve fire


January 4, 2018

Courtesy Photo

According to Colorado State officials, an explosion involving a truck full of crude oil and an old gas station used as a storage facility for many oil field trucks, went up in flames Sunday morning, Dec. 24.

Gary Goff, of Kimball, the driver of the crude oil tanker was airlifted to Northern Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colo., according to wife Darlene, then airlifted once again to University of Colorado, Denver Burn unit.

Darlene is unsure of the specifics of the accident, but according to CBS Denver News and The Prairie Post of New Raymer, "The truck was pulled into the back of the building to thaw a frozen valve."

"Officials with the New Raymer-Stoneham Fire Protection District say the tanker was carrying 180 barrels of crude oil," stated CBS.

News reports of the fire included the difficulties fire fighters faced in the sub-zero temperatures that night.

"Ice from the overnight storm made it hard for firefighters to fight the flames because trucks and valves kept freezing," CBS also added. "It took 30 firefighters seven hours to fully extinguish the fire," according to CBS.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

According to Darlene, 41 percent of Goff's body sustained third degree burns, both the front and the backs of both legs, and his right arm.

"He had this third surgery Monday, this one was on his right hand, the plan is to have more skin grafting done towards the end of this week," Darlene reported.

Doctors expected Goff to be in the burn unit at University of Colorado for a minimum of two months, before beginning rehab at an undecided hospital.

"As to my knowledge, his vitals are all good, and everything internally is okay, his attitude is good, and things are going how expected," added Darlene. Currently Goff is not seeing visitors, or receiving phone calls.

"I keep the girls here at Woody's up-to-date on everything, so anyone wanting to check in is more than welcome to ask," said Darlene.

Goff has been hauling crude oil since 1980, he began hauling for Black Hills Trucking, then moved on to Coch Oil out of Denver, Goff also worked for Taylor, and most recently is leased with Anderson Crude out of Kimball.

As for donations to the Goff family to assist with this traumatic time, there has been an account opened at Firs-Tier Bank, as well as, Points West in Kimball. There are plans to have a GoFundMe page started for Goff and there will be jars at local businesses for contributions.

Cards can be sent or dropped off at Woody's Liquor, 208 E. 3rd Street or the Goff residence, 3726 Longhorn Rd.


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