Two May Be Injured in Car Fire

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Photos by Oliver Cory

About 6:20 p.m., a light colored sedan caught on fire on F Street between 13th and 14th in Arcata. According to a reader listening to the scanner, two people were in the car. One may have major burns. We will try to update when possible.

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6 comments

  • How are the two people?

  • Shake N Bake or BHO?

  • What were they doing in that car to make it explode?hummm.hope their ok

      • OMG – can you imagine? What would you have to be high on to do that, when you could pretty much drive anywhere, park and blow yer oil outside? I don’t need to comment about the inadvisability of doing this – the victims have been punished. (sigh) I could make more pungent comments, but I did a few things like that when I was a kid, and I learned. All I can say is, people: Do what ya gotta do, but just provide adequate ventilation and your chances of a fire go down astronomically. Don’t use flammable solvents where there’s pilot lights, e.g. refrigerators, stoves, etc. Remember, most fumes are HEAVIER THAN AIR, so your ventilation has to take that into account. Once you get the hang of it, it’s cheap and simple to ventilate a work space. Here’s a few ideas to protect yourself from accidental ignition:

        – create a safe zone where there’s no smoking, no uncontained electrical switches, no appliances with automatic off-on switches or pilot lights, and provide some grounding so static electricity doesn’t build up.
        – store your solvents in a separate area from your work area so if there’s a fire it won’t spread catastrophically
        – if you use vacuum ovens, let them vent outside – remember, many solvents do not have a strong odor like odorized natural gas or propane, so flammable quantities can build up without anyone smelling anything. If you can afford it, there are electronic sensors for flammable gases in air.
        – keep fire extinguishers handy. Remember that most solvent fires consist of an initial “flash” (which can be an explosion if the work area is not ventilated sufficiently), followed by the slower burning of solvent containing materials and other flammable materials in the flash zone. You can knock down any fire with extinguishers if you are uninjured. CO2 fire extinguishers are excellent for this purpose and don’t damage your work area, but in a pinch, even having a garden hose quickly available is an excellent backup.
        – don’t be afraid to consult firemen or other safety people – most of them would rather inform people on how to prevent accidents than try to get anyone in trouble. This information is available online as well…
        – ideally, a dedicated space for this kind of work would be used, but the main thing is ventilation, ventilation, ventilation! The air in your work space should be completely replaced every few minutes – you can build a fume hood anywhere for a few dollars. Here’s an example of one person’s approach: (note that even working outside, she uses fans) https://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?t=212613
        – finally, consider the clothes you wear for work – are they synthetic fabrics? Many of these melt in a fire, causing much more severe burns! Wear cotton and Nomex or other fire resistant outer clothing….

        I worked for a company that handled extremely flammable materials for a few years, and following these guidelines even if there was a fire (which did happen a couple of times) no one was injured and it was controlled quickly enough that no serious damage or down time accrued. You can do this too with a little foresight and some common sense…..

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