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DyerWolf
2007-Oct-30, 10:24 PM
Found this gem on YouTube:

How Not to light a bonfire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijnFRjKXPRE&NR=1)

No one died or was seriously injured.

Lord Jubjub
2007-Oct-30, 10:45 PM
WOW!

Just what was the liquid they put on? Gasoline? Definitely something that gives off a lot of fumes.

Nowhere Man
2007-Oct-31, 01:45 AM
It wasn't the LOX-powered hibachi, was it? (On dial-up, won't even try.)

Fred

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Oct-31, 01:51 AM
Have not watched the video yet but that is what I am thinking too. (watch it at home)

Tog
2007-Oct-31, 06:49 AM
It was a tall stick (3 meter?) cone with about 2.5 gallons of some clear liquid splashed on it. The guy made a little trail then touched a match to it. The explosion spread fire and debris over what looks like about a 20 yard area.

My guess would be that they dug out a bowl under the sticks to act as a pit as the wood burned down ans that the liquid pooled up in the bottom. When the fire came, all the fumes coming from a broad surface area has no where to go but out.

Just a guess.

NEOWatcher
2007-Oct-31, 12:26 PM
It was a tall stick (3 meter?) cone with about 2.5 gallons of some clear liquid splashed on it. The guy made a little trail then touched a match to it. The explosion spread fire and debris over what looks like about a 20 yard area.
I know someone who did that. A friend of mine would occasionally use gas on a fire, but he would always throw, or use very little. His wife didn't understand how bad this was, and lit a fire with a Bic lighter after dousing it with lots of gas. She was in the hospital for quite some time.
The good thing though... She was so scared of fire after that, that she quit smoking.

My guess would be that they dug out a bowl under the sticks to act as a pit as the wood burned down ans that the liquid pooled up in the bottom.
Didn't need that, just the dousing, and the amount used is sufficient.

mugaliens
2007-Oct-31, 12:44 PM
I was a pyro when I was a kid growing up (not criminally so, though...). Just played around with fire way too much for my own good.

Due to it's lighter yellow color, it looks to me like either gasoline from another country, or possibly coleman stove fuel.

Sometimes people get stupid and mix things, like mixing kerosene and coleman stove fuel. The heat of the latter causes the former to vaporize. Now, instead of having slow-burning kerosene slowing down the burning of the stove fuel, you have superheated kerosene vapors which are about as explosive any any other fuel around.

The aftermath it appears that enough vapors had accumulated in the center of the area between the wood that it was enough to simply blow the entire bonfire to shreds.

Plain old kerosene is a fairly safe fuel to use to get a bonfie going quickly. You don't need two gallons of it, though! About a pint is more than enough around the upwind area.

Doodler
2007-Oct-31, 12:58 PM
That's what I was figuring. Vapor built up under the pile (for those that didn't watch, it was stacked in a roughly circular cone shape) and detonated on ignition,

mugaliens
2007-Oct-31, 01:07 PM
Given my background, I also really enjoyed following video, entitled, "Lighting a Bonfire with a Jet Engine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbjoHdT79Sw)."

Moose
2007-Oct-31, 01:22 PM
Coolest thing we ever did with Kerosene was my venturer group remotely (and covertly) light a bonfire during a special event for the local scouting groups. The whole range of kids from beavers/brownies (6yr olds) to scouts/guides (15ish yr olds).

We soaked the bonfire with kerosene, and poured a small cone of gunpowder (about enough to cover a dime, it didn't take much) over a model rocket igniter. (We'd found that the igniter couldn't light kerosene, but it could light the gunpowder which in turn...) The wire was buried and ran behind the venturers/leaders for cover.

So when the time came, the local scouter made a short welcome speech, then called upon the "spirit of Baden Powell" to light the campfire. The gunpowder lit right on cue and quickly spread to the rest of the bonfire.

The amazed "whoa" from about 150 kids really made the night.

---

My father, on the other hand, has had more than a few incidents lighting stuff with gas. My "favorite" was when he filled an oil drum with leaves and trash, poured in "some gas" and threw the match just as my 2yr old self teleported in. He heard "Daddy!" from behind him just as the match left his hand.

Dad learned what the word "ohnosecond" means that day.

It was like touching off a mortar. The leaves and trash got launched fifty feet into the air, over my dad's head, and landed in a fireball directly between him and me.

He jumped over the fire, snatched me up, and away. Somehow neither of us got burned.

DyerWolf
2007-Oct-31, 01:45 PM
Crazy. Why was the jet cycling so much? (puffs of fuel)

Also, Mug - do I read your above post correctly --> you were a boy at one time?

(Can't imagine growing up without playing with fire...)

closetgeek
2007-Oct-31, 02:23 PM
Wow, if that isn't overkill, I don't know what is.
On my fifth wedding anniversary, we had a little BBQ. The guys went over to start a little bon fire while I was finishing up the kitchen. I came out to discover them filling empty beer bottles with gasoline, then placing the bottom in the flame and pointing the top outwards. When I walked over, they had four ghetto-style flame-throwers going at once. the only thing I could think was this is how ever cheesy after school special begins. The only thing missing is two of them driving drunk around the back yard, yelling "woohoo" for no particular reason, and high fiving each other.


Given my background, I also really enjoyed following video, entitled, "Lighting a Bonfire with a Jet Engine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbjoHdT79Sw)."

cjl
2007-Oct-31, 02:34 PM
Crazy. Why was the jet cycling so much? (puffs of fuel)

Also, Mug - do I read your above post correctly --> you were a boy at one time?

(Can't imagine growing up without playing with fire...)

Afterburner being switched on and off :)

Jet cars do that all the time, mainly for show.

NEOWatcher
2007-Nov-14, 02:04 PM
Schools closed after boy causes ammonia leak (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21777101/)



An ammonia leak that began when a 16-year-old boy drilled a hole into a pipeline because he heard money was hidden there forced three schools to close Tuesday and led authorities to order evacuations for nearby homes.


Now; why would a pipeline have money in it. Apparently it has something to do with "cash flow"?

Larry Jacks
2007-Nov-14, 02:20 PM
Coolest thing we ever did with Kerosene was my venturer group remotely (and covertly) light a bonfire during a special event for the local scouting groups. The whole range of kids from beavers/brownies (6yr olds) to scouts/guides (15ish yr olds).

We soaked the bonfire with kerosene, and poured a small cone of gunpowder (about enough to cover a dime, it didn't take much) over a model rocket igniter. (We'd found that the igniter couldn't light kerosene, but it could light the gunpowder which in turn...) The wire was buried and ran behind the venturers/leaders for cover.

We did something similar when I was in Scouting many years ago. Instead of gunpowder, we used some chlorine granules (from a swimming pool supply place) and some Pinesoil. The Pinesoil was in a cup above the chlorine. When we pulled a string, the Pinesoil spilled onto the chlorine. That caused a chemical reaction hot enough to light the logs. It was a cool effect but it did have some bad side effects. For one thing, it released a small cloud of chlorine gas (toxic stuff). That cloud drifted over to where I was hiding with the string and settled on my position. It was most unpleasant. The morale to the story is "don't try this at home."

korjik
2007-Nov-14, 08:03 PM
When I was out in Saudi, during desert shield, we would have to burn our garbage. One time when I had to do the burn, I tossed all the garbage off the truck, got it in a nice big pile, then dumped 5 gallons od diesel on it. Normally the diesel just makes it burn better, but this time I had a cardboard box that was turned upside-down. It was soaked in diesel and in a convienent spot to light, so I lit it on the corner of the box. It burned for a couple minutes before the diesel fumes in the box finally warmed up enough to blow.

My buddy in the guard post up the hill said I blew the box a good 50 feet into the air.

Doodler
2007-Nov-14, 10:34 PM
The morale to the story is "don't try this at home."


Nah, goofy. The moral of the story is "stay upwind".

chrissy
2007-Nov-14, 10:43 PM
Nah, goofy. The moral of the story is "stay upwind".

or get some other fool to do it!

Captain Kidd
2007-Nov-15, 05:20 PM
A longer "fuse" too. He used what? Maybe 2 feet?