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Archie Zietman

Thank God it Didn't Happen...

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Hello.

Today, before going to school, I cleaned out the fireplace, and placed the cold ashes in the brass bucket like I always do, and put it downstairs in the basement. Needless to say, during the day it spontaneously combusted, along with the last few weeks worth of ashes, and the fire brigade had to be called. Luckily nothing happened, but I'm definitely buying an airtight steel bin to put them in far away from the house.

 

What is even more incredible than the house not burning down, is that my parents are not angry, just frightened, and aren't punishing me (I already spent the entire evening engaged in self flagellation) they would have, a year ago, made me throw away all my smithing equipment and never mention it again, but they are actually willing to let me continue, so long as I learn from the experience.

Have any of you had similar incidents (or actually burned your houses/shops down?)?

 

Thanks,

Archie :wacko::unsure::o:(<_<:angry::mellow::huh::)

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A guy I used to work with had his wife burn down two porches. She cleaned out the woodstove and put the ashes in a paper bag and left them on the porch. They ignited the paper bag and the rest is history. SHE DID THIS LITTLE TRICK TWICE!!!!!

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Best way to go about it I would think is to fill the pail half way with water, and submerge the ashes. I would think that'd ensure that they're not hot.

 

Think I was told once the same about oily rags, everyone knows not to throw them into the trash cause they can catch fire, but I had heard you can throw them in a bucket of water, anyone heard the same?

 

Glad there was no bad fire.

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Glad it didn't turn bad on you! Things like this serve as a reminder that we have to always be vigilant about safety around the shop. A knifemaker from another forum is just recovering from a shop fire he had last year. He lost a lot in that fire. If I recall correctly it was an errant spark from an angle grinder that set something 15 or more feet away on fire.

 

Get the biggest ABC extinguisher you can afford and keep it handy. Once you've recovered from purchasing the first one, go buy another. Repeat until you are never far from one in your shop. And don't forget to have them checked and recertified BEFORE the certs on them expire. The only thing worse than not having an extinguisher is having one that doesn't work when you need it.

 

Stay safe,

 

-d

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I pulled a similar brilliant move a couple of years ago. Melted my big plastic dumpster and matching recycle bin on Independence Day. Never saw such a big blob of molten plastic in my life. Even my cats were impressed.

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The first time I used coal to forge, I didn't realize you had to spread it out before it will go out completely. I poured some water over it and left it in the firepot. An hour later, I looked out in the yard in the dark and it had come roaring back to life and was sucking in its own air draft through a gap in the air pipe. Fortunately, nothing flammable was nearby.

 

When I used to have a wood stove, I was always impressed that the embers could stay hot for days after the fire had gone out. I usually would only spread them outside when it was raining (they're good fertilizer too).

 

Now that I'm in Florida, there's not much winter, and no wood stove needed :D

 

Wood ash is great for annealing steel, especially when it's still dry and fluffy.

 

Michael

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Hey Archie,

 

When I was about 14 years old, my mother, sister, and myself were living in a nice, older two story house with a full basement. We lived across the street from a park, and the park had a fire sub-station with one tanker and one pumper, and the fire station was right across the street from where we lived.

 

My mother and sister were going out shopping and I had smelt smoke, I had told my mother what I smelt and she had looked around and we thought that maybe someone was burning leaves. My mom and sister went shopping, and I got back into a book I was reading.

 

However, I kept on smelling smoke intermitently. Whenever I tried to trace the odor, it would vanish. Finally, I got tired of smelling and not seeing, and did a tour of the house. The upstairs was clear, and the floor I was on was clear. I opened the door to the basement, turned on the light and found the basement full of smoke. I made sure I could breath and I went down to investigate what was going on. The source of the flame was the end of an old brass fuel oil pipe that had been tacked against a wooden beam. A small bit of fire was coming out of pipe and burning the wooden beam against which it was tacked. The beam had been blackened but was not burning very readily. I went upstairs, filled the largest container we had with water and went back down and threw the water on the blackened beam.

 

I then walked across the street to the fire sub-station. I knew that in the scheme of things my fire was just a small one, and I thought if one fireman could walk back with me to my house that everything would get taken care of. I walked into the front office of the station and met with a nice, smiling fireman. I pointed out my house through the window and explained that I lived in that house and could a fireman please accompany me back to my house. The nice, smiling fireman asked me "why?" "Because there is smoke in the basement" I replied. It was only then that I noticed the fireman was sitting next to a big red button wired into the wall behind him. I noticed this as the fireman was slapping that button, and then the siren went off, the big garage doors were being opened, and all hell broke loose (in an orderly fashion of course).

 

I know that my jaw was on the floor at the time, I was stammering that I'd put out the fire and just needed one fireman, but the firemen didn't listen to that. They all jumped onto their fire apparatus and drove it sixty feet across the street to my house. They set a fan in a basement window to get the smoke out, they pulled the six foot section of brass fuel line out too. They looked in the basement for any old fuel connections and line, but that was it. The chopped the burned section of the beam out and put it into a container of water.

 

By this time I was thinking that all these fire guys were pretty cool, and very gung-ho about their job. they packed everything up, and backing their fire trucks back across the street into their garage, they put their equipment away. The fire chief said he wanted to talk to my mother when she came home, and then he left. Some time later my mother returned and I told her what happened. Mom walked across the street and spoke to the firemen.

 

Well Archie, that's my story and I'm sticking to it:)

 

Cheers,

 

Tom

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