Ooops! We had a fire on Sunday

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by indacup, May 10, 2011.

  1. indacup

    indacup Fire Starter

    We had a little mishap which I thought I’d share with all of you in an effort to prevent it from happening to you all.

    In the past, I would prepare charcoal in the Chimney, and then dump it into my Weber smoker.

    This past Sunday, I was doing a lot of smoking and about half way thru, realized I was running low on briquettes, and asked my wife to pick up a bag for me while she was shopping.

    She did, but instead of the normal type, she purchased the “easy starting” that do not need lighter fluid, I saw that, but it didn’t faze me since I don’t use fluid anyway.

    So, once I used lit the charcoal, I dumped it into the smoker, then wrapped up the remainder of the unused charcoal and placed it in the storage area underneath the grill.

    About 40 minutes later, I see a plume of smoke coming from my backyard and the grill was on fire and so was the wall of my garage.

    In retrospect, I don’t know if my next response was smart, stupid or just lucky, but knowing that the bar-B-Que was on fire, I opened up the storage area (source of the fire), and knowing the propane tank was now getting burned, I reached in, detached it and tossed it into our swimming pool.

    I then proceeded to get the garden hose and put out the fire before the fire department arrived.

    What happened was apparently a spark or ember made contact with the bag of easy light charcoal, and since the combustion level is so much less than standard charcoal, it quickly caught on fire, whereas normal charcoal would not have reacted that way.

    Just thought I’d share this info to all of you….
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    So there is a storage area under the Weber where you can store propane tanks and charcoal?  Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.  Glad things got under control without any real problems.  Is the propane tank now a permanent pool floaty?
  3. biaviian

    biaviian Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Great warning to others!  I too had a scare like that where the line coming from the tank was on fire.  I reached in (after debating "do I just run"), pulled it out, and tossed it into the pool as well.  I never want to relive that one as I'm sure you don't either!
  4. Glad no one was hurt. Sounds like a hairy situation. Nothing will make you panic like a flaming propane tank. Saw it happen at a party once. Scary shit. I guess your wife will be a little more picky next time she gets you charcoal. [​IMG][​IMG]
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Holy Cow! Glad it turned out OK.
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Just glad no one was hurt


    I would mod the space under the grill to prevent this from happening again.


    I keep a fire extinguisher on my deck with my GOSM BB My grill and chiminea.

    I also keep one with frank and for the outdoor firepit

    Last edited: May 10, 2011
  7. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great news that everyone is OK - thanks for sharing your experience with us
  8. glad to hear you and your family are ok sounds like a scary situation
  9. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One more from here, glad no one was hurt. 

    I have a friend that used that same stuff, loaded the coal starter and could find no lighter to start the paper. After searching the house for a lighter, 10 minutes or more later he lights it and WOOOFFFFFFF like a jet engine. 

    Sure it lights easy but its bad bad stuff in my opinion.
  10. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks for the warning, and I too am very glad it wasn't worse for you!

    Probably not a real smart thing grabbing a hot propane tank, but I can't think of a better place to throw it, other than maybe Abbottabad.

    Everybody please be careful,

  11. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    meatball likes this.
  12. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Oh Boy probably it was [​IMG]  thanks god  all off you OK

  13. garand555

    garand555 Smoke Blower

    There is all sorts of safety stuff in the design of propane tanks, but you still do not want to be near one if something goes. At the very least, you will lose any hair that is exposed. You have to be trying really hard and most likely be doing stuff that would make the ATF very unhappy with you to get one to actually blow, but if it vents without burning, the area that it is in can blow and even without blowing, those things can shoot out quite a flame. I once took one of the old style tanks that they wouldn't refill anymore, lit a fire around it, got waaaaaaay back, and watched as a buddy shot it with a 50cal with an APIT. There was no explosion, just an uncontrolled flame thrower. I didn't really expect one, and if an APIT out of a 50 doesn't make one blow, that says something.

    That being said, I might have done what you did anyway, then thought about it later. It's tough to second guess what people do in those "OH S%!^" situations. Glad it turned out alright for you.

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