Chimney fire supression
It's that time of year were everyone starts lighting their fireplace and the flue fires begin. The departments in this area swear by the Mountain Dew Method of extinguishment, but I've never seen it used. Now I trust these guys, but I hate to start teaching a method I haven't experienced. Anyone else use it?
Basically you begin shaking up a plastic bottle of Mountain Dew as you climb out of the truck. Enter the dwelling and place a tarp in front of the fire place.
Open the door and toss in the shaken bottle.
Close the door and wait for the boom and hiss.
The plastic bottle melts, the highly carbonated soda turns to instant steam and out goes the fire.
Anyone with experience using this method?
I have never heard of that.
Originally Posted by Margin67
Typical method form my previous VFD when I lived in a colder climate, as well as most neighboring VFDs, was either a baggie of dry chemical dropped from above or a shot from a dry chemical extinguisher from below followed by chimney chains.
We have also used a 3-5 second shot from a water extinguisher on the fire to generate steam which goes vertical as well.
Do not think that would go over well with home owner
This is how we do it as well. If we are using the dry chem from below, we will also use PPV (after making sure the fire is contained to the chimney).
Originally Posted by LaFireEducator
Not sure how long you've been around, but I suspect somebody is pulling your leg about the mountain dew bottle.
I have some ocean front property in Arizona, would you like to buy???
I prefer to add mentos to mine, further reach less friction loss
We keep the baggies full of dry chem on the trucks. I've heard of short bursts of water as well. Mountain Dew (or any other soda) is a new one. I do know some people who would consider it a huge waste of an important commodity.
BTW - the Mentos thing works with regular soda, not just diet. The difference is that the diet soda doesn't leave such a sticky mess.
I'm sure a lot of you are laughing, but around here the old timers keep a bottle in their POV in the winter time just in case the call is near their house.
This one is even better ......
Originally Posted by fire49
Ok let's see a test fire in a fireplace using mountain dew
Well glad it has to be Mt DEW I would never sacrifice my Dr Pepper to put out a chimney fire. lol. But seriously we use the Dry Chem in a 1 gallon zip lock baggy dropped from the top.
We've used the Ziploc bags with dry chem ("chimney bombs"), PPV and dry chem, and ice cubes. Personally, I'm a fan of the PPV/extinguisher.
Never heard Mt Dew specifically, but I have heard of plain water in a zip lock or plastic bottle. Container ruptures water turns to steam, fire goes out or so they claim.
Coffee can filled with dry chem is what I see most frequently.
The dry chemical in a baggy sounds good in theory , but what about if it has a cap/screen ? And the few "active" chimney fires I have been to, they were blowing out the top like a flame thrower, I kind of doubt the powder would fall very far down. Squirting a PW into the fire box just enough to create some steam has always worked for me, and the steam wont shock the liner.
We have a lot of wood burners here so we deal with chimney fires regularly
First in crew goes in with chimney steel bucket ,log tongs, coals shovel, welders gloves ,hall tarp and water can. First remove the burning fuel to metal ash can with tongs and shovel after squirting a little water in bottom of can. Have one member carry that outside and dispose of safely on dirt/ snow , or have someone wet them down with hose.
Second find cleanout and inspect with mirror for burning creosote. if chimney is still roaring a short burst of water can and close cleanout door to let the steam rise.
Once the flaming creosote is cooled then the roof crew in full gear & on air drops the chimney brush or weight on chain down to know the burning residue down. . Ground cleanout crew then checks up flue with mirror again. if still burning another short burst from water can and wait .
Meanwhile interior crew has checked for extension , & if none found will assist with roof crew as needed. If any extension is found they open up and extinguish while letting other crews know of the interior extension.
Dry chem bombs dropped down have a hard time being effective as the heat is rising and carries all the dry chem powder up onto the roof crew. We do have a specialty tool which is basically a 2 ft length of rubber hose that fits over the dry chem extinguisher that can be stuck into a cleanout or thimb;e to get dry chem in from the bottom. We try not to use it as it makes a lot bigger clean up job compared to a little steam.
Second crew ladders roof and checks for extension to interior walls or attic with thermal imager.
We don't remove any wood from the fire box until after we are sure the chimney fire so out. My take on it is I want the fire in the fire box to gen up a pretty good amount of steam, I usually put my thumb over the tip of the PW and mist it. After we are sure its out we usually clean out the fire box. Along with a thorough check of the attic where it passes through and a check of the roof, some one always does a 360 walk around as I have seen chunks set grass/leaf fires and land on the wooden deck. We don't inspect the chimney -just tell the home owners to have a chimney sweep inspect it before using. And out of curiosity has any one else had a rash of Christmas morning chimney fires? Usually after questioning -we find out it was wrapping paper being burned.
I have been to precisely one chimney fire, and I guess it was not technically a chimney fire. The homeowner had just installed a stove in the corner of the house and went out of the house horizontally and then up once outside. The single wall stove pipe made contact with the wall board and caught fire. I asked why we don't have many chimney fires when it seems like everyone burns cottonwood here. I was told that it was because cottonwood burns hot and it is cold here so everyone burns the stove hot so very little crap gets built up.
I have learned a lot reading the posts though and will ask more questions at the firehouse.
Mr. Yokel, I have heard about the Christmas fires but there has not been one for a long time.
I burn cottonwood about 50/50 with hard wood. Well dried it's very light, burns well, but fast.
Originally Posted by conrad427
We use the chimmney bombs, chains, and small bursts from a water can. We do have chimney nozzle on 1" hose, but we've not had a chimney fire so big as to use it.
We have used these in the following order:
-Remove the fuel from the firebox/fireplace
-Shoot dry chem from below
-Shoot water from H2O extinguisher below
-Drop baggies of dry chem or baking soda from above
-Drop chimney chain from above
Never ever use a hoseline from either top or bottom. That will cause the flue to crack and they homeowner to replace the entire chimney. I have a powerpoint put together for this if anyone is interested....