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Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Stupid Are Lucky

While on duty at station 1 we were toned out for a fire in the backyard of a residence at about 9pm. When we got there we found two smoldering plastic gas cans and a melted 55 gallon trash can. Once we determined that the fire was out we tried to determine what had happened. The fire had occurred in the backyard of a residence where there was a back house. The owners in the front house were the ones to see the fire, call 911 and extinguish the flames. The renters in the back house said they didn't see anything. We checked the area for an ignition source, lighters, matches, cigarettes, etc. Finding none, my captain again turned his attention back to the residents of both homes.

Finally the son of the renters spoke up. He appeared to be about 17 years old. He said that he had been in the service porch trying to pour the contents of one fuel can into the other. He was doing so without any ventilation. The fumes trailed over to the pilot light of the hot water heater and ignited. He was just able to open the door and kick both fuel cans outside. We spent a couple minutes making sure that he realized how lucky he was not to be severely burned. Hopefully he learned his lesson. If you're going to be using fuel, do so in a well ventilated area. Now he can go on and do other stupid things.
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