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Thread: Magnesium Fires

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter1219's Avatar
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    Default Magnesium Fires

    A few days ago I was at a fire where a small metal shed was burning. A melted Skilsaw inside started burning violently. I believe it was from the magnesium in the motor.

    How would you go about putting out a magnesium fire? If I remember correctly, you aren't supposed to put water on it. Are there any Class D agents specific to magnesium available? Would burrying the object be an option?
    Last edited by Firefighter1219; 03-20-2004 at 01:24 PM.
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    Forum Member stm4710's Avatar
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    Oh god.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    My tounge is bleeding I am biting it so hard....
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Talking

    Try looking in Essentials IV pages 59 and 60.

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    STM, save me

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    just throw water on it so it burns faster so we can all get home faster

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    Forum Member explr985's Avatar
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    Please say you are kidding, right?
    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

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    Forum Member LACAPT's Avatar
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    Try throwing an old VW block at it, not sure but that might work.

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    If the originator has Hazmat and FF2, wouldn't this have been covered?

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    Forum Member ffexpCP's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 42VTExplorer
    If the originator has Hazmat and FF2, wouldn't this have been covered?
    God, I hope so.


    Seriously though, yes you would use a class d extinguisher. There are two types of dry powders: sodium chloride (table salt) and copper powder. The first is used for most metals (such as you magnesium) while the copper is meant for lithium and alloys of it. If I remember correctly form high school chemistry, adding water to these metals creates a reaction forming a salt and releasing some hydrogen and oxygen.

    I think I would have let the fire burn out. The shed was probably gone anyway and the extinguishers arenít cheep.

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I like how he mysteriously edited out the part about him sitting on the ground holding the hose in the door way of a structure in the process of collapsing... a shed no less which contains all kinds of unknown stuff.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    All I can think of is a certain user we ran into at FOOPS... Said he was this and that, but in the end when we were able to check his actual licenses, he only had a EMT Basic, not the Paramedic like he claimed.

    All the dramatic saves he claims he made, pushing drugs, this and that? Gone out the window.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter1219's Avatar
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    If the originator has Hazmat and FF2, wouldn't this have been covered?
    Vaguely. We were taught how to find the material in the ERG, IF we have the name or number of it. We didn't specifically cover magnesium.



    Try looking in Essentials IV pages 59 and 60.
    I know what the Essentials book says. I wanted more information than what it provided. I know that I could look in the ERG, but the problem is finding one of them. I haven't been able to find one at the station until last night. It gave me a lot of the information that I was looking for.

    I was looking for previous experiences with this type of situation. I also wanted to know specific types of dry chemicals to put on it. The ERG mentioned dry sand, Met-L-X, and dry chemicals. Would it be better to just carry dry sand, or would it be better to invest in some dry chem too?

    I like how he mysteriously edited out the part about him sitting on the ground holding the hose in the door way of a structure in the process of collapsing... a shed no less which contains all kinds of unknown stuff.
    Well now that you mention it, I believe you have the wrong idea of what was happening. The metal shed was approximately 6'X6' with doors that were 4' high. The roof looked to be 6' high. I started attacking it from about 12' away until I was certain it was knocked down.

    The shed was a total loss upon initiating attack. The roof was mostly caved in, and the walls were stable. After I knocked it (the fire) down, I moved up to the front door to take a look. I had to sit on the ground in front of the shed to get the water to the front corners (because of the low doors and sagging roof were obstructing the water in a standing position). The shed was pretty stable except for a bowed in roof. I even tried to gain access from the sides by taking them out, but they were too strong.

    The Skilsaw was nothing more than a pile of melted metal in the shed until a few minutes of spraying the hotspots when the saw caught on fire. I did spray it with water at first because I didn't know what it was. After seeing that it reacted violently with the water, I stopped. One of the other firefighters thought it might have been electricity arcing in the saw. So he went and checked with the owners and they confirmed that there was no electricity in the shed. That's when we came to the conclusion of magnesium.
    Last edited by Firefighter1219; 03-21-2004 at 11:45 AM.
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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Uh huh.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Lightbulb

    I have an idea, maybe all the perfect people on this forum should share some insight rather than bagging on people who ask questions. Just a thought. I think we all know that things are not always done exactly the way FF I and II state they should. Does everyone bust out the class D extinguisher on car fires when the magnesium in the column starts to light up, or do they just keep douching it 'till it goes out?

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    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter1219's Avatar
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    Uh huh.
    That's basically what I said before. I added a few things that I did not mention before, because I thought it would sound more clear this way. I removed it because people like you would find something wrong with it no matter what I typed.

    Oh and by the way, all of you explorers and smartasses that chimed in need to hush. I asked an honest question as usual, and mostly what I get is a bunch of smartass responses.

    I have an idea, maybe all the perfect people on this forum should share some insight rather than bagging on people who ask questions.
    Thank you. Got to love the armchair quarterbacking.
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    Oh and by the way, all of you explorers and smartasses that chimed in need to hush. I asked an honest question as usual, and mostly what I get is a bunch of smartass responses.
    First things first, this is an open forum, don't like our posts? Put us on ignore and report us to the WT.

    You might not have gotten so many "smartass replies" if you wouldn't have edited your post and taken out some of the details. Who knows if what you told us the second time is the same as the first.

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    Forum Member explr985's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Firefighter1219




    Oh and by the way, all of you explorers and smartasses that chimed in need to hush. I asked an honest question as usual, and mostly what I get is a bunch of smartass responses.

    You call yourself a firefighter? The answer to your question could be found with a little research, especially if you have your FFII and glow-worm operations. Here we use ABC to extinguish the flames and cool with water. Have to agree with my brother explorer from Vermont; don't like us, door is right over there.
    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

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    Forum Member draco9's Avatar
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    Thumbs up working toghether

    I have a lot of books, and 20 years of experiences.
    But I always found here, in your words, a lot of precious hints to better understand our works that I can't find in books.
    This is the reason because I am here to read your posts.
    Nothing is obvious, I think. So, thanks to you all, very dear friends, for your answer to questions. And also for jokes, but at lower level: jobs at first.

    ciao

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    See what happens when you're away from the firums for a few days.......... you miss all the excitement..........

    And 1219, try to do a little research on the forums because I believe magnesium fires have been discussed before.......... Just like the one in Northeast OH.........

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