February 13, 2012

Fire and Ice

The colder it gets, the more likely fires are to occur in Kentucky.  Space heaters are often the culprit, in spite of warning signs that they are not to be left unattended.  Years ago a friend lost everything she owned to a flickering candle too close to a curtain.  Meth labs do their share in our neck of the woods.  And then there are the ordinary events.  You're doing a task, having taken precautions, but a flick or a flash ignites nearby elements and Whoosh!  Flames.

Case in point is my dear cousin, Danny, who lives in Italy.  Here's how he spent this fine Monday morning: 

Bloody hell! Earlier I took the dogs up the field, before coming back in for some dinner I popped into the workshop for 5 mins. It was really cold so I put the little fan heater on and hopped onto a stool a couple of feet away. While sanding a wooden spoon with a Dremel attachment my eyes started stinging. I assumed it was the dust (I was wearing a paper face mask expecting it to be a bit chokey). A couple of minutes later when I'd done machine sanding I walked over to get some sandpaper and happened to glance down - flames were leaping up my leg!
Panicked I patted it out with my hand and then went into the kitchen and finished off the embers with a wet cloth. There is a fire extinguisher in the workshop but I didn't really have time to think about it. Nothing else had caught, pretty miraculous because it's full of flammables (sawdust and wood everywhere, behind me a shelf of glue and solvents). I seem to have got away with a couple of tiny burns on my finger and thumb. I think a piece of sawdust must have dropped into the fan heater, ignited and got blown onto my boot. There's plastic foam around the top of the boot (now frazzled), that must have been the reason for big flames - they were way up past my knee, very dramatic.

A good prompt to have a thorough tidy over there, safety inspection! I think I'll place the fire extinguisher a bit more centrally...

Jeez, what a week. And it's only Monday.

 In other words:  Hey, let's be careful out there.  We're all precious to somebody. 

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