Firefighters from my beloved agency had a close call last night while fighting a garage fire at a residence. Units were dispatched to a reported structure fire at about 11:15 last night. Arriving units found a garage well involved with fire and initiated an attack. As access was being made, the first of at least two explosions occurred, spraying burning gasoline on a firefighter who was reportedly forcing entry.
The flames on the firefighter were quickly extinguished by firefighters on an attack line, preventing any injury to him. Operations were changed to defensive mode and exposure protection after the second explosion occurred.
A second firefighter received minor burns to the back of his hand while performing vertical ventilation operations.
The second of the three explosions were caught on camera by an employee of a local hospital who was reported to be on his way to work. The explosion occurs at the 1:05 mark.
Yikes!! Despite the poor quality of the video, the flash and ensuing mushroom cloud are pretty impressive.
At some point, firefighters were made aware that the garage contained multiple 55 barrels of gasoline that were being stored there by the occupant. A man smoking in the garage caused the fire when smoking materials ignited vapors from the gasoline. The man is being treated at a local burn center for second degree burns to his hand.
Fortunately, all PPE worked as designed and nobody got seriously hurt. If I get a chance, I'll talk with the firefighter who was most affected by this event, I'm sure that he will not forget this for a long time.
This video should remind us that you really never know for sure what is being stored in an occupancy until after the event is over and the clean up is underway. What appears to be routine can bite you in the ass in a hurry and catch if you are unprepared.
Thanks for reading,