I am looking for any information about methane explosions or anyone who has had a methane explosion with a single family dwelling with its own septic system. I am investigating a rural farm house where methane gas from a old but currently being used septic system may have leaked methane gas back into house causing explosion.thanks in advance. Jamie Novak
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Thread: Methane explosion
05-02-2002, 10:02 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jun 2001
- St.Paul, MN, usa
05-10-2002, 04:39 AM #2
This is kind of related to that. They beleived that the methane from the coal bed caused the fire.
By Jim Greenhill
Herald Staff Writer
It was first mistaken for a mine explosion; it may have started because of a coal seam that’s been burning for a century; and it threatens firefighters with poisonous gas and explosions. And a bizarre brush fire in remote La Plata County, south of Marvel on Southern Ute land, still wasn’t officially under control Monday evening.
Although it has burned only 8 acres and is miles from structures, what tribal firefighters are informally calling "the coal seam fire" got a lot of attention when it was first reported Saturday afternoon.
A dozen firetrucks from the Fort Lewis Mesa Fire Protection District and Durango Fire & Rescue Authority went out to offer aid but were turned away, officials with both agencies said. Air tankers flew up from Albuquerque, where television stations talked about the fire, and ambulances headed out from San Juan County, N.M., during the brief period authorities feared a mine explosion. They, too, turned back when it turned out to be a false alarm.
The fire is on the east side of Cinder Butte, about six miles south of Marvel, east of State Highway 140, almost in New Mexico, said John Vogel, a firefighter with Fort Lewis Mesa. "(It) is way down in the middle of nowhere," he said. "All it (was) was just piñon and juniper."
But Gerry George, fire management officer with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Southern Ute Agency, said the fire threatened more than vegetation.
"It was a very big deal," George said Monday.
For one thing, George, who spent Monday at the site, said the fire appears to have started from an underground coal seam, which has been burning for an estimated 100 years.
"We’re pretty positive, because we didn’t have any lightning there," said George, adding that officials studied lightning strike maps from Saturday.
George said hydrogen sulfide gas – a highly toxic byproduct of the breakdown of methane gas – seeps out of the ground in the area, creating a dangerous situation because the fire could ignite the gas, causing explosions. To minimize risk Saturday, slurry was dropped from the air, and the BIA turned away ground forces, George said.
And because of the risk for explosions, he refused to declare the small fire – there have been up to as many as three uncontrolled burns in La Plata County each day this year – under control.
"We’re just watching it and monitoring it," he said.
George speculated the fire could have started Friday night, but said no one knew for sure.
The fire and the mine, which is farther south, are in the same line of sight from Marvel, said Fort Lewis Mesa fire Chief Bill Stephenson. He said this could have led to reports of a mine explosion Saturday because people heard blasting at the mine and saw smoke from the fire and thought the two were related.
"I heard people talking about ... an explosion at the mine," Stephenson said. "From the area that this was reported, you can see La Plata Coal Mine when they blast."
Although the fire itself was small, Vogel admitted the situation Saturday was potentially dangerous.
"We were entering into an area where the underground coal seam is burning," he said. "You step on that, and you fall 10 feet through the ground into a burning cavern – not a good place to be. Not worth the resources, other than the little slurry they put on it."
05-10-2002, 05:43 AM #3
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