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Big Badda Boom / the jsharr explosion thread


jsharr
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Got home from the campout yesterday, got cleaned up and was about to leave the house to go have a beer and a burger with the Scout Master, who is also a great friend of mine.  Grab my wallet and phone and keys and then I hear a "BOOM" followed by a sound like a jet or rocket taking off.  

Walk to the back door and see flames shooting out of the roof of the house across the alley.  Imeediately dial 911 and tell them I heard an explosion and there were flames coming out of the roof of the garage of the house at 400 Xxxxxxxxx Drive.  They verify address, explosion and visible flames and tell me Fire Dept is on the way.

I head to my driveway and see the neighbor and his guest moving their cars out of the drive and garage and hear the sirens.  I find out that no one was hurt and there was not much I could do so I stand in my drive and watch to make sure my house and fence are safe. The flames die down, but thick black smoke begins to roll out of the garage (see the one pic I did take).  Then the flames fire back up and start to come out of the garage roof again.  Smoke is also coming out of all the vents and from the eaves of the main house, as the garage is detached.

Fire arrives and gets the flames under control before they spread to the house I think but the garage may be a total loss.

Turns out that my neighbor was smoking meat and had a propane tank too close to the smoker and it some how vented, exploded or something.  What I heard was the tank blowing and all the gas in it burning off.  It ignited the vinyl siding on the gable ends of both the garage and house.  Flames got into the attic of the garage and smoke got into the main house.  Not sure if any flames got into the house but the Fire Dept. killed power to the house as the main panel and mast are in the garage.  

This resident is single (divorced) and has a track record of having parties, police at the house, younger people than a guy in his 40s should have hanging around, etc.   Rumors were started within minutes that his meth lab blew, which is not true.  I had 6 neighbors standing in my driveway and luckily they got to overhear the police and the homeowner talking about the smoker and the propane tank.  The director of communications for our HOA also stopped by and got the right story as well.  I felt sort of like Tom Hanks as Ray Peterson in "The 'Burbs"

 

fire.jpg

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So, I'ma guessing that the smoker was between the house & the garage? B/c otherwise, that's more dumbassedness than should be allowed, even for Texas.

Next question would be the proximity of the tank to the smoker, b/c I had some of those cheap see-though-sheet-metal grills with the tank RIGHT UNDER the grill for a lotta cookouts & a whole lot higher temps than for "smoking" & never had any problem.

Or sumsuch:

https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/ad85359f-5036-4dba-8b18-47175a257799_1.cfc2a3352374cd796f87d42f2f783812.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF

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Also, while I have my safety cap on, I've heard those little pop-off valve go when filling the tank. And while if the tank was too close to the heat source, the PRV could release, I would not think that a flame could follow the gas back into the tank because: a.) the gas is under pressure and blowing out; and b.) there isn't any oxygen in the tank to make the kaboom.

Dunno

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11 minutes ago, 2Far said:

So, I'ma guessing that the smoker was between the house & the garage? B/c otherwise, that's more dumbassedness than should be allowed, even for Texas.

Next question would be the proximity of the tank to the smoker, b/c I had some of those cheap see-though-sheet-metal grills with the tank RIGHT UNDER the grill for a lotta cookouts & a whole lot higher temps than for "smoking" & never had any problem.

Or sumsuch:

https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/ad85359f-5036-4dba-8b18-47175a257799_1.cfc2a3352374cd796f87d42f2f783812.jpeg?odnHeight=450&odnWidth=450&odnBg=FFFFFF

image.png.ead728aa0ba6f6193957f6e414d0ab32.png

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5 minutes ago, jsharr said:

My guess is that it was either an old tank or that he had it hooked to something and the hose melted and that allowed the gas to vent.  Based on the fireball, I think a lot leaked before the boom and then the rest burned off.

He's lucky he didn't level his house & the one next door.

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