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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night my friend Jeff lost his beautiful '56 Gasser to an engine compartment fire. Most likely a total loss from what I saw today. He was warming it up for our monthly hotrod breakfast this morning, when it suddenly burst into flames. He and the neighbors were able to push it outside, so the house was saved. Too early to know what the insurance company will say or do, but it doesn't look good.





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh man that sucks. Don't know what else to say. Hopefully insurance will cover the loss. :(
Yeah, it definitely sucks! He has Hagerty, and they have a reputation for doing a good job. Just hope it's quick, and he can get something for the summer cruise season.
 

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Shit, that's a tuff one Vall. I guess the bright side is that as you said the house was saved and it doesn't sound like anyone was injured or burned while getting the burning car outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, fortunately no loss or harm to people or his home. Have to wait and see if Hagerty totals it or not.
 

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That is scary. Good thinking neighbors saved the house. Glad everyone is ok.
 

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That really sucks, looks to be a gasoline fire...unless it had been burning a while...then maybe electrical......I would urge every one to have large fire extinguishers in there shops not the little ones I learned it the hard way....hope it works out for him....kind of like losing a love one....well kind of
 

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Oh man that is one bad and scary event it does suck. But happy to heard everyone is safe. I have also heard good things on Hagerty Ins. Hope it works out and good luck
 

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Terrible news! As others have said, at least the house is ok and no one got hurt, that's what insurance is for. I totally agree with Lash, you need a big fire extinguisher in your shop/garage. I'm not a fire fighter, but I would guess the car is no way far enough out of the garage. I've seen enough cars burn and when they blow up, they tend to burn pretty hot. Also remember we keep a lot of spray cans, cleaning fluid, gas, etc in our shops. Not good. Lesson learned for all the hard way, don't forget safety.
 

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We had a hanger fire here in town at our little private airport...A guy was draining fuel from the wings on his classic $350K aircraft and the fumes ignited when the hangers over head heater turned on at the other end of the hanger...he said he saw the flame front heading towards him and ran like hell... lucky he was near the doors.... got out with minor burns every thing hanger and all was lost
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well 3 fire extinguishers didn't put it out, so unsure how large the single big one might need to be? We're sure it was a gas fueled fire, and it might have been leaking for the 10 minute warm up, and until it exploded, he wasn't aware it was leaking. My guess is even a very large extinguisher wouldn't have put it out. Maybe would have knocked it down for awhile, but that's about all it would have done.

I recently had a gas leak on my Austin, that was back at the inline fuel filter. Walked into my garage and saw a 2 ft. puddle of gas on the floor! The smell hit me when I opened the door, so I knew immediately. After I fixed the leak, I began to think about how lucky I am that our gas furnace isn't in the garage like so many are! Our home has a basement, and the furnace is down there.
But this brings up a point I'd like to make. The gas wee buy today with ethanol mixed in is very hard on fuel lines! I have very little rubber line on my Austin. Less than 12" total, and only used in short 3"-4" lengths to isolate vibration. But even though all my lines are less than 5 years old, I had that one line fail already! I replaced it with fuel injection line which is about 3x the price of normal gas line. I hope that it's made to handle the new gas, but I'll keep a close eye on it, to ensure it doesn't get soft and degrade like the other stuff did. If you have even small amounts of rubber hose, be sure to check it and make sure it's not going bad!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've seen that one Steve. I'm sure it's true, but I believe metallic gas lines will still last longer than rubber. I'm sure not going to use rubber the whole length, or plastic tubing like some new cars use. I'll just have to keep an eye on it to see if it develops any issues. I know the rubber will for sure, and quickly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We had a hanger fire here in town at our little private airport...A guy was draining fuel from the wings on his classic $350K aircraft and the fumes ignited when the hangers over head heater turned on at the other end of the hanger...he said he saw the flame front heading towards him and ran like hell... lucky he was near the doors.... got out with minor burns every thing hanger and all was lost
That's very unusual for an overhead heater or any overhead source to start a gas fire. I wired gas stations, and other hazardous locations for fuel delivery for many decades, and gasoline is a heavy vapor. The area that is considered Class I Division I Hazardous, is inside a 25' radius, and 24" above the gas source. Since gas vapors sit on the floor or ground, his wing must have been very high, or the heater low enough for vapors to reach it before they settled.
We had all sorts of explosion proof switching, explosion proof fittings, and rules within the 24" height. But the lighting right above the gas pumps, or plugs above the hazardous level were the same we all use in any location.

This diagram shows the two classes. Clas 1 Div. 1, and Class 1 Div 2.


As the diagram shows, the area right at the top of the gas pumps is the end of Div. 2, and Div 2 is the darker area 2 ft. above ground. Div 1 is at ground level or below. Anything above the gas pumps is not classified as a hazardous location. Unless you raised the fuel nozzle up higher than the pump; like to an aircraft wing!
 

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Vall that might be why he was able to get out do to a slower flame front from above, the wings where about 10 feet above grounds as I remember the plane, it was a multi passenger 6 seater twin... then again the aviation fuel is more aromatic than pump gas plus a current may have been blowing in from out side...who knows weird shit happens... will have to see if I still can pull up the news paper article on it... as I remember he was open flowing the fuel out of the wings into open 50 gallon barrels really dumb... here again weird shit. maybe floor being warmer than the tin roof made for a rising air that carried the fumes up...this is the second time it has happened, fire do to static was the most recent.... as well as a crash suicide. and a Pitts special flipping over in a near bye field and killing the pilot... and now they want to put housing along the runways....dumb... and the dumbest the army bring in huge twin rotor helicopters and blowing down a hanger...and didnt have to pay
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Inside the building with open doors, and air currents; could create all kinds of weird things. And as you mentioned, 10' high wings!
 

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Yea it was a vintage high wing beast as they built them back in the 1940's it may have been an 8 passenger with pilot and co-pilot its been a long time, it had a nice tweed interior, that my boat racing buddy did up for it, at 6'-1" I could not reach the fuel drains with my arm extended so very close to 10 feet...sad it was a real beauty and should have been at the Seattle museum of flight...
 

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That really suck! But better the car than the house.
 
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