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Thread: Car/Fuel fire

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    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    Default Car/Fuel fire

    How do you handle a car fire that is fully involved and leaking fuel? We had a car fire on a hill with fuel running down the hill on fire. I thought we should have dammed the area around the car and let it burn off. There were no exposures. I felt it was more of a danger to try to put the fire out and let the vapors find an ignition source. The vehicle was a complete loss before we even made the scene.
    FF/Paramedic


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    In a word, foam. There isnt one simple answer though. In most instances, putting the fire out is the best thing to do. In some, it may not be. If you opt to let the fire burn, you risk things exploding, projectiles, smoke obscuring roadways etc. Also, if you let it burn you have to do as you suggested, and dike the fuel so it doesnt run away.

    Using AR-AFFF is probably the best course of action in most instances.

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    I would put the fire out. then control the leak with dikes damn and plugs. use absorbant to soak up the gas leaking out after the fire is out. To me it is easier to control a leak of a few gallons of gas the to let it burn.

    We typically will put the car out with water. then all that is left is the gas burning under the car. you can tell it is just the gas when the fire starts to spread with the water. Then we will just grab the CO2 or dry chem and put the class B fire out.

    It is funny to see guys push fire down the road and flow lots water. then to see someone walk up and put it out with an ABC ext. Makes it even better when it is me pulling up 2nd due because the had to call for a 2nd engine for more water!!!

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    Forum Member Ambrose33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    How do you handle a car fire that is fully involved and leaking fuel? We had a car fire on a hill with fuel running down the hill on fire. I thought we should have dammed the area around the car and let it burn off. There were no exposures. I felt it was more of a danger to try to put the fire out and let the vapors find an ignition source. The vehicle was a complete loss before we even made the scene.
    Class B foam. Do not attempt to extinguish with class A(knock down) foam because it will not sufficiently suffocate the fumes and is made for structural fire use.
    Stay safe!

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    We're talking about a car fuel tank here, not a tanker truck. Speedy-Dri and a dry chem or CO2 will make fine work of a little gas running down the road. Put the car out like you would any other car fire.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    Ok. Thanks for the help. We arrived second in and the gas was floating 50-100 ft down the road. We didn't have foam.
    FF/Paramedic

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    Forum Member L-Webb's Avatar
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    F-500 works good to. Breaks gas and other hydrocarbons down so they won't burn.

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