1. #1
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    Question Anybody got a guess?

    Was dispatched early evening a while back to something burning in a back yard. After a delay in response due to a dispatching problem, I headed toward the scene by personal vehicle. No other calls had come in so I figured it might be minor.

    Upon arrival I found the lid to the well pit upside down and lying a few feet from the pit. The two course of block above ground had sustained considerable damage and some blocks were laying around the pit area.

    It was late fall and drizzeling. The leaves in the back yard were burnt right up to the side of the house and under the fuel oil tank. I could smell a strong smell of gasoline around the pit, but had no containers anywhere. The pit was about 8 feet from a garage.

    I checked the garage and found no odor of gas in it at all. The initial explosion was strong enough to blow open most of the kitchen cabinet doors and some pans had fallen out. The elderly resident was found at a neighbors quite frightened. She did not own the home, she was renting it.

    Anybody got a guess what caused the incident?

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    stunt chipmunks??

    i dono... good luck figuring it out.
    I havent failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.

    - Thomas Edison

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    I know what caused it. It was unique enough I thought everone might have fun taking a guess.....stunt chipmunks is not correct.

    And no...it's not those crazy penguins either

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    Leaking underground storage tank that seeped gasoline into the well and was ignited by the pump motor, perhaps?
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    I was going to go w/ the penguins, are you sure they weren't involved???
    "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy
    cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, worst, if fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat" Theodore Roosevelt
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    I was going to go w/ the penguins, are you sure they weren't involved???
    I'm not sure, but I'm interested to find out what did
    I would have bet that the penguines were involved also....those crazy penguines!

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    Seeing as it was raining and the leaves burned up to the house and around the "fuel oil tank" I would guess an accelerant was involved.

    I would not initially suspect fuel oil giving off enough vapor in late fall to cause an explosion but also wouldn't rule it out. I would be looking for a flameable liquid source along with the combustible fuel oil. A close inspection of the fuel oil tank for leaks is probably job one. The idea of vapors being ignited by the pump is a great guess. As to the exact product ignited and it's source, I need more information.
    Last edited by E229Lt; 03-08-2004 at 12:08 PM.

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    Question Not Again?..............

    We had a problem here a while back when a truck driver was directed to a fill pipe by another person who didn't know which pipe was gas or oil. Result was gasoline mixed with K1 kerosene, which was purchased by a number of people before someone found the mistake. The resident put some of the gas/K1 mix into a kerosene space heater, which promtly got VERY hot. Good news was the home is fairly new, built since our sprinkler ordinance took effect. 3 heads held the fire until we got there and finished the job. No one hurt, but some wet drawers most likely. Turns out about 500 gallons were sold, and a media blitz was started in order to get attention to the proiblem. A lot, but not all, of the stuff was returned to the gas station where it was purchased. Best news was no injuries to anyone from something that could have been fatal for someone.
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    Default A good riddle?

    I can guarantee the penguins weren't involved.....

    It wasn't caused by any leaking of an underground storage tank. It had nothing to do with the fuel oil tank. Good guess though. If someone had filled it with fuel....Oh boy! It was caused by gasoline fumes....but how?

    The cause was human error if that helps. I'll let it go a while longer to see if anyone comes up with the right guess

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    Somebody dumped gas in the well pit, when the well turned on it ignited the vapor.

    Kinda like when they pumped a septic system dry the next town over. Seems they forgot to shut down the sewage pump that transfers **** from one tank to the next, pump cam on, ignited the methane vapor and blew all the lids in the air. They say it was quite a sight to see....

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    Originally posted by hfd66truck
    Somebody dumped gas in the well pit, when the well turned on it ignited the vapor.
    My money is on that one as well.

    Now for the real question. Who dumped the gasoline? Was it the penguins or the stunt chipmunks? Hmmmm?
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Yup, there these two Penguins ya see..

    And they are walking past a hole in the ground.. No no it was a well, thats right.

    And someone had let some flammable liquid in, yeh.

    And the fumes built up ok.

    Have you ever seen what happens when a penguins beak hits something solid.

    Hmmm....
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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    Default Ahhhh, we're gettin' closer now

    There was gas dumped it the well pit....but why?

    It wasn't a malicious act or a prank of any kind,it was pure stupidity.

    With fools being so ingenious, I can see this occuring again some day.

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    Lightbulb

    They needed the gas cans to hold the moonshine so they pored the gas in the well for safe keeping....I got it didn't I

    if you see any crazy penguins one of them owes me some money......see they were shooting craps w/ the stunt chipmunks and lost everything they had....so keep me in mind if you see them!
    "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy
    cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, worst, if fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat" Theodore Roosevelt
    Dedicated to those brave souls who lost their lives on 9-11-2001

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    They didn't know it was a well and thought it was a sewer cap. It is cheaper than disposing of it the proper way.

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    Originally posted by cfdeng3
    They didn't know it was a well and thought it was a sewer cap. It is cheaper than disposing of it the proper way.
    That was along the lines of what I was thinking.......or they just thought it was a really big gofer hole....some people just don't think before they act....
    Last edited by CairoFD; 03-09-2004 at 08:32 AM.
    "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy
    cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, worst, if fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat" Theodore Roosevelt
    Dedicated to those brave souls who lost their lives on 9-11-2001

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    They poured gas into the well pit to:
    A) Kill the spiders/wasps/bugs that were in there.

    B) Kill the weeds around it.

    C) Mess with the neighbor.
    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176

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    Default We have a winner!

    Congratulations EdShanks, you are the grand prize winner tonight.

    After getting the name of the landlord from the terrified old woman, I gave him a call and described the situation. He just laughed and said his son was out there earlier that day and had to do some work on the well pump. When he took the cover off the pit it had a huge bee nest on the lid. He soaked it in gasoline and put the cover back on. The fumes worked their way to the bottom and when the pump kicked on...kaboom.

    I hope everyone enjoyed taking a guess,I know it's not as good as hitting a penquin with a club but hey...what do ya want from a Michigander?

  19. #19
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    Tried to kill weeds with the gasoline.........

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