I ran across an interesting piece of oil field history the other day. It was a first person account of fighting an oil tank fire in 1884. Lightening had struck an oil derrick and ignited a small storage tank. This tank leaked and the resulting pool fire spread to a battery of large storage tanks. The fire then became uncontrollable. The fire fighting method of the day for oil tank fires was to fire a cannon into the tank in order to punch holes and drain the tank before the fire caused the oil to boil over. Several of thee cannon can be found in various oil field museums.
The story was printed in MIT's newspaper, "The Tech". A link to it is here. Be sure to browse the paper for other news of MIT and advertising of the era.