Windsor Fire and Rescue Services responded to an explosion and fire at Plains Midstream Canada in Windsor’s west end Thursday morning.

It happened in the company's propane storage terminal at about 7:45 a.m in the 4300 block of Matchette Road. The sound and the tremor could be felt for kilometers, even by firefighters, working at the College Avenue fire station.

“They ran outside, thinking it was an accident right in front of their building,” says Lee Tome, chief fire prevention officer.

A Plains Midstream representative says the terminal experienced an equipment malfunction which released some product into the terminal's safety flare pit. As designed, the flare pit ignited the product allowing for the controlled burn off of the product.

This safety system reacted as it was designed to do to safeguard the public, personnel, environment and equipment, according to the company.

Fire officials say heavy smoke could be seen coming from the area, but the fire was quickly put out.

Plains Midstream is apologizing to area residents for any inconvenience.

Investigators from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority attended the scene Thursday.