Feedback on Gasoline Fire Hazards

Readers recount their personal experiences with gasoline fire hazards at home in a wood or coal stove and on the water with boat engines.

| January/February 1973

  • 019-013-01
    Whether in your house or on a boat, you should be aware of gasoline fire hazards and try to prevent them.

  • 019-013-01

Well, I suppose that E. Martini is just suggesting, but not recommending, what everybody with a wood or coal stove shouldn't do but does anyway ("if you're desperate, a few drops of white gas on the paper and a long taper to light the fire might help, but I don't recommend this").

For years, in press releases and safety talks, I've been pointing out the danger of rushing a fire with gasoline or other flammable liquid and I hope that I've convinced a few. But people, being, only human, still assume that accidents happen only to the other guy so every once in a while our volunteer fire department (of which I used to be president) would haul a "crispy critter" out of the black shell that used to be home.

Even though they've incinerated themselves through sheer stupidity (one hot ash or coat in what looks like a cool firebox can cause a fatal explosion), you feel sorry for them . . . but it's the little kids that really tear you up. When Momma tosses a cupful of gas on the kindling and it blows up in her face, she may or nay not get out. Unfortunately, the little kids hardly ever get themselves out and there's nothing harder to take than stuffing a two-year-old into a body bag while he's still warm.

So next time you toss a "few drops" of gas in the stove, I wish you luck . . . and if luck isn't so good, I hope there's a fire fighter nearby with a body bag to carry out as much of you as he can find.

Bill del Guidice
Durbin, W. Va.

The article, "How We Found a Live-Aboard Boat in B.C." mentions briefly that "diesels . . . are safer" . . . three little words that have become personalized for us.

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