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House Fire in Glen Arm, MD- possibly caused by propane tank explosion

SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,815
I saw the smoke from this, coming back from a job. Another reason to hate propane. Fortunately no one was hurt.

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/glen-arm-house-fire/32962383
All Steamed Up, Inc.
"Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
Oil & Gas Burner Service
Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc

Comments

  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 5,827
    My guess is UV damaged and cracked propane lines in the grill.
    I was talking to a client of mine from Florida, the fire department there checks the balconies on high rise buildings with binoculars and issues citations to people with propane grills.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,896
    An overfilled tank in the sun will vent is a possibility or rotten hose/ loose fitting. You are supposed to shut the tank valve off after each use. I am sure that does not happen.

    I smelled LP in my house once, it was a grill tank overfilled by an eager beaver. Tank outside a close-to-floor window was venting.
    Just seeping out quietly......carried it away and opened valve to relieve pressure.

    They are safer than they used to be;
    New tank/regulator design. No tools needed to tighten.
    You can not trade in the old design of tank.

    No LP to NG or back again burner change over kits available....anyway that is what I tell people who ask.

    My business insurance specifically states NO LPG Work covered.
    That is scary as I have done several LP houses years ago. None now.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,297
    Maybe the hoses should be something more durable than synthetic rubber. I think the requirement of the opd valves varies by state.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,896
    Other things such as burner on with flame out and cover down,
    always interested in the details but once the drama of fire is over then little info released.
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,297
    i learned about opening the cover when you light it the hard way. I was having trouble lighting the match and by the time I got my mom quite a bot of gas had collected, so technically she learned for me...
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,350
    Had one in West Islip NY this morning as well. Driver burned top half of his body. Not a good scene.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,815
    edited June 25
    This might have been a much bigger tank. It's just far enough up the country that the natural gas mains don't go that far, unless something has changed recently. Neither do the water mains, which is why the fire department (mostly volunteers in this area) had to call for a tanker strike force. We've worked near there and the boilers we've seen are oil-fired.

    A larger tank might also explain why the fire spread as quickly as it did.

    Still waiting on the fire marshal's report.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • motoguy128motoguy128 Member Posts: 93
    JUGHNE said:

    Other things such as burner on with flame out and cover down,
    always interested in the details but once the drama of fire is over then little info released.

    This always frustrates me. We live in a small town with a lot of older homes and poverty. As such there are a lot of fires It seems, but the cause is rarely published conspicuously in the news later.

    Most causes are shoddy DIY electrical work, overloaded circuits/oversized fuses. But it would be nice to know. We see a ton of it, especially in rentals.

    THere’s a ton of propane homes in rural areas here. We do a lot of work with propane. Never seemed any more hazardous than natural gas to me. We often recommend switching to propane for heating since electric rates have gotten so high in our area.

    Heck, I work on a dozen sketchy electric furnaces for every scary propane furnace I see. I guess at least electric furnaces have breakers to shut them down when things go wrong.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,297
    i live in a college town and when I do find out about the cause of a fire, even though they have ancient electrical and mechanical systems, the cause usually seems to be something like someone put a candle under some curtains or put a pan of oil on the stove on high and left the room or some other form of user error.
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