Thread: House Explosion

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    Default House Explosion

    hey everyone. i noticed today on the firehouse.com home page two articles where two house explosions occured. one injured i think like 13 firefighters, and the other killed one lady and a child. i was wondering how offen houses explode??? i experienced my first house explosion about 4 monthes ago when a heater which was not equiped with a automatic emergency gas shutoff started to leak gas and reached the hot water heater and blew. in the last one i went to, a neighbor called in a fire in a trailor. about 45 seconds later, after the fire was going good, the house blew. we arrived one scene to find almost nothing left. funny thing is the occupants were evicted just hours before the fire. in all, i have been to three house explosions in about a 5 month time period. the thing is, nobody in my department had ever been to a house explosion before then. now it seems to be a normal event. we have a big problem with meth-labs here, but i do not think this was the reason for our recent explosions. is this common in the fire service??? and what could be some of the resons for these explosions? i am just concerned because we are lucky these houses blew before we got on scene. thanks everyone. stay safe.

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    First I want to wish all the injured firefighters a speedy recovery. I live about 30 min away from the explosion in NY. There is an interview that peaked my interest into some safety issues at this fire. You can see the interview on www.wktv.com. One thing I find odd is that one firefighter says he got burned under his arm. How does this happend if wearing full ppe. Also they say they arrived on scene and had just smoke so they ventilated the smoke and where searching for the origin of the smoke when the explosion accured. Did they ever think that they may be feeding the fire that way. What do you guys think? I think it will be interesting to see the reports on this fire.
    Stay Safe and live long

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    the issue concerning venting has been an issue ever since ive been in the fire service. some people say that if you vent at the begining then you are feeding the fire with oxygen and venting should not begin untill the fire has been knocked down. but some people say that venting from the start help smoke conditions which helps you find the fire. im not sure which is better. if i am not mistaken, there was an article or maybe a thread started about this subject somewhere.

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    Just hold the phone a second..............

    People here are very quick to second guess and monday morning quarterback things before the dust settles. Unless you were there, you have no reason to comment on anything. Can't people wait until the whole story comes out and then we can discuss it objectively and maybe learn something from it instead of shaking our fingers, nodding our head and calling shame on them!

    Give it time and the real story will come out. Patience grasshopper!!

    There are several reasons why an explosion would occur. Around here years ago it was common for the flapper valves not working properly in gas appliances so we started shutting gas off at the meter or the street.

    Give it a chance before you get in a tizzy.
    Last edited by Dickey; 08-04-2006 at 07:14 AM.
    Jason Knecht
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    I don't know very much about this incident so far, but I read somewhere that the "smoke" may not have been smoke but instead was propane gas.

    If the leak was enough to make the concentration over the UEL, ventilating may have brought it into the explosive range, result, explosion.

    Even if they had identified the source first, and shut it off, the concentration would have eventually dropped back into an explosive range. The difference is the firefighters wouldn't have been standing in the middle of the cloud.

    Burn under the arm in full PPE? Possible if we assume the smoke was propane and some had migrated into his turnouts prior to the explosion.

    Too many questions, too many possibilities.

    As far as frequency, I think there is always a statisical chance for these kind of events. Sometimes random chance will cluster. Think of flipping a quarter, just because you got heads 7 times in a row it doesn't mean there wasn't a 50/50 chance of tails on each of those flips. On a national scale, the news media if funny. If one tv station gets good ratings and national exposure, every station in the country will be aware and try to get national exposure for their next explosion as well. All of a sudden we start hearing about every house explosion. No more explosions than normal, just now we hear about ones that we didn't know about before.

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    Default cause is now known

    http://www.uticaod.com/apps/pbcs.dll.../NEWS/60804006

    added the above link that has details from the states investigation into the house explosion, everything added up to make a nightmare come true for those responding volunteer departments. Being only about a half hours drive from where this happened and listening to the the radio transmissions as it happend that night, sounds like there were 12 very lucky people in ny.

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    hey dickey, u need to hold the phone buddy. i dont know what u have been reading, but i didnt say anything negative about the firefighters who were hurt. i just wanted to know what could possibly cause house explosions since i am new to the fire service and want to expand my knowledge about incidents such as this. then a question about venting came about and i made a response to that. ur right, i wasent at this incident, but i HAVE been to three incidents just like it. i just want to know what u guys know so i, and the others who read this, will have a better understanding of the issue. i hope all of the firefighters make a full recovery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinFFVFD
    some people say that if you vent at the begining then you are feeding the fire with oxygen and venting should not begin untill the fire has been knocked down.
    This generalization is ridiculous for any instructor or fire officer to say. Obviously this would be said by those who never had fought any significant fire, where venting was required to support the advance. If someone tries to convince you of this, thank them for their wisdom, and find another instructor as they must truly be Out Standing Firefighters!

    Venting can be very simple or quite complex depending on numerous factors. The best way to ensure a good job is by having officers with quality training and experience who can make rapid decisions. Sadly, this is certainly becoming the exception to the rule, which will only increase the numbers of LODDs and injuries.

    Now if the line read: "Positive Pressure Venting should not begin until the fire is knocked down" I might see their point. Maybe this was the context they were referring to?

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