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  1. #1
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    Default Terrarium Pyrolosis???

    OK, my first post so don't laugh me off the board.

    Recently had a school fire, not a great deal of damage due to a good sprinkler system, but an interesting one.

    On a countertop there were two terrariums, both equipped with heat pads underneath. One had two lights, timed to go on/off at certain times, one was termed a day light, one termed a night light. Next to terrarium were a power strip and two timers, both energized. Point of origin in this area. Fire damage to power strip and timers appears external. All goodies are off to an electrical engineer so we'll have better info in awhile. There was not any clutter of combusibles in the area, no stress on the circuit, and the wood shelf above the terrarium is what got going.

    What was interesting is that I found the one light for the terrarium with its clamp still on a piece of glass, the rest of the glass was done, broken all over. The aluminum of the fixture was melted, bulb holder burned beyond recognition. The interesting part was that in the terrarium were two small pieces of driftwood, both had heavy char on the top, clean on the bottom. (the lizard is RIP). I felt the car was exceptionally heavy for this, so did the private who came in to work. Anyways my thoughts.............

    1) device failure
    2) overlamped light (staff member says no, this set-up has worked fine for years, one timer was replaced last year, the other 3-4 years old)
    OR
    3) is it remotely possible that over time this wood pyrolyzed??? I know it sounds wierd, remote, and off the wall, but in 25 years I've dealt with alot of off the wall stuff. The private and I were both just kind of amazed by the char on this wood, and it was the very dry type.

    Any thoughts????


  2. #2
    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Default

    Any ideas what wattage bulbs they were using? Or if the "daytime" light was one of the special "Artificial UV ray" lights specially for reptiles?
    Service is the rent you pay for having space on earth.

  3. #3
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    Default

    1. Probable

    2. Probably not

    3. NO

  4. #4
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    Default Fire

    1) My best guess

    2) had to consider it

    3) yep, a long shot but interesting anyways. I'll eagerly await the electrical engineers analysis and I hope that tells the story.

    Did ask teacher about wattage, she couldn't say and didn't have any extra bulbs around but I'm still hoping to get an answer on that one.

  5. #5
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    If there was a reptile involved, this may be a little easier. I have done two fires with hideous disgusting iguanas living in houses. In both cases, the fire was caused by the high-wattage lamps coming into dierct contact with a combustible material. I surmise that the beast pulled on the lamp or the cord and caused the contact.

  6. #6
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    Default Reptiles

    Ha, this fellow (late fellow) was pretty small, terrarium was sand and the wood, nothing else. And we couldn't save the little fellow either!

  7. #7
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillLearning
    Ha, this fellow (late fellow) was pretty small, terrarium was sand and the wood, nothing else. And we couldn't save the little fellow either!
    If George were there, he would have given it mouth-to-mouth and breathed life back into it!
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMedic
    If George were there, he would have given it mouth-to-mouth and breathed life back into it!
    No chance. They taste like chicken. Besides, the only reptiles I play with are the ones who post on these forums.

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