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  1. #1
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
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    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    An 18-year old girl and her 27-year old brother were killed in a bonfire explosion in St. Clair Township (near Flint) Michigan, Saturday night when a large two-story bonfire that had been heavily soaked with gasoline by the 27 year old man who was the resident of the property, exploded upon being lit. According to the story, the girl's brother invited her to light the bonfire, which had been prepared to celebrate her graduation, and the resulting explosion scattered wood 100 yards away from the pile, and blew out windows in a structure over 100 feet away. The two died from trauma and not burns, according to the sheriff's department who investigated.

    Ugh....what a tragic way to die...I might use a cupful of gasoline to start a fire but rarely more than that. Very sad.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jefferson County, Mo, ... about 35 miles out of St. Louis.
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    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    Wow. Sad indeed. I refuse to light anything when gas is involved. Had some close calls in my foolish youth.

    MoKelly

  3. #3
    Veteran Member YesDeere's Avatar
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    Merland
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    04/4310

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    It's the vapors that get ya. I only use diesel to start my fires. Had my gas fire scare when I was young. No more

  4. #4
    Super Star Member brin's Avatar
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    Georgia - Mt. Vernon by The Store just 5 miles east and right by the big oak tree then to the creek.

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by YesDeere View Post
    It's the vapors that get ya. I only use diesel to start my fires. Had my gas fire scare when I was young. No more
    You are exactly right...the vapors...fumes of gasoline are killers...never and I mean never even created a spark around gas fumes not to mention gasoline itself....I would never use gas to start a fire...lighter fluid or diesel yes...gas is wanting to get a Darwin award...
    Bob

    WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.


    NH - TC-29 , FEL, Bush hog, Bush hog brand finishing mower, Post hole digger, 6' Back blade, sub-soiler, Pallet forks, 20KW PTO Generator , 21 hp Murray Mower
    JD -3020 with FEL and a 16 HP. K-Grow Lawn Tractor (bought from K Mart 1994) and runs great !
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  5. #5
    Bronze Member
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    West Jefferson, NC
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    Kubota B7610

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by YesDeere View Post
    It's the vapors that get ya. I only use diesel to start my fires. Had my gas fire scare when I was young. No more
    I remember my dad used to light the grill with gasoline until one day when the wind was just right and he waited a little to long to throw the match onto the charcoal. The fumes had settled around his ankles and he ended burning the hair off his lower legs. He started using starter fluid after that. I've never used gasoline because of that lesson.

  6. #6
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
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    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    I did some research on Google this morning and one of the sites I visited stated that a gallon of fully vaporized gasoline (I assume it has to be fresh also) has the explosive power equal to 14 sticks of dynamite. About three years ago I had a lot of mail to burn (credit card offers, etc) so I piled about two cubic feet of the stuff on my bonfire pit, poured about a cup of gasoline on it, then stood back about 25 feet and threw a tin can containing a lit paper towel soaked with paint thinner onto the pile. WHOOOMMMMPPPP....my wife said the explosion rattled the windows in the house 120 feet away. Every since then, for fire starting I have used either old motor oil or diesel fuel.

    Oh, and by the way...the fellow who lit that burn pile and was killed along with his sister was quite clearly in violation of the burning regulations in his township...locally here there is no way a burning permit would be issued for a two story pile in the middle of the summer. Anyone burning over half a cubic yard must be inspected by the fire department and given a written permit for ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. I burnt a one-story pile two years ago and they had me wait until the middle of the winter to do that when there was a foot of snow on the ground.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    MF 1652 FEL

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    My daughter goes to A&M and knows too well the dangers of "building" a fire, whether it be doused with gasoline or not.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    Quote Originally Posted by LazySusanFarms View Post
    My daughter goes to A&M and knows too well the dangers of "building" a fire, whether it be doused with gasoline or not.
    Go SEC!!! I just had to do that as I saw you are from Kansas. Sorry.

    MoKelly

  9. #9
    Gold Member
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    John Deere 2210, John Deere Z820A, John Deere 345

    Default Re: Siblings killed in bonfire explosion

    That's a sad story. People just don't realize what the vapors can do. That used to include me.

    Years ago, I needed to burn an old deer carcass my dogs drug home, and decided to do it in my burn barrel. Because I didn't have any old gas or charcoal lighter fluid, I had the bright idea to use paint thinner. Thankfully I had enough sense to move the paint thinner can a long way back from the burn barrel, and thought I'd be able to just light and then toss a small piece of scrap wood into the barrel without any problem. Boy, was I wrong.......still singed my eyebrows, and thankfully only got a mild "suntan". Could have turned out a lot worse. I also used to use "dead" gas for starting brush piles, but I've gotten a lot smarter since the paint thinner episode.
    GGB

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." -Pogo/Walt Kelly

  10. #10
    Veteran Member ericher69's Avatar
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    Ontario Canada
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    2008 Kubota b2920

    Default

    Gasoline vapor is about 10 times heavier than air so...it will always find the low area. I have used gasoline to light fires (only about 1/4 cup)

    The process I utilize is this;

    1. Make sure you know there are no coals left
    from previous fires

    2. Build your burn pile of material-paper,cardboard,kindling, Gas, Fire wood

    3. Use a BBQ lighter taped to a broom handle

    4. Light lighter and stand upwind and approach with lighter at ground level

    5. Many times the vapors will ignite from a few feet away and create a substantial flash "whoof"

    A friend of mine as a kid saw his uncle using "gasoline" to light a campfire so he tried to replicate. The 2 gallon jerry can ignited as he poured because there where hot coals from the previous night.

    He lost his eyebrows, most hair on arms and head and suffered second degree burns. Lucky!

    The "gasoline" his uncle was using was really Kerosene.
    ericher69
    IAFF Local 849

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