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It was 97 degrees in the Chicago area today, not sure what the heat index was but it felt darn hot. And if that wasn’t warm enough I almost torched myself tonight with the gas grill.

I had just put five pounds of chicken on and gone back inside with the tray when I turned to see the propane tank shooting a rather impressive amount of flame from the spigot and along the length of the gas hose. My first instinct was to try to shut off the gas ( radiant heat quickly quelled that idea) and I then realized that the tank might make a nifty bomb at any given moment; so I hustled everyone out of the house and called the fire department. Meanwhile, the gas hose disintegrated and the tank/miniature flame thrower rolled free, setting various objects on the deck on fire in the process. Quite surreal, watching things you own ignite.

Ultimately, no great harm done. I’m out a grill, various minor items, a chair and the deck needs replacing, but no one was hurt. The Fire Department said it looked like a case of product malfunction with the regulator and wrote a report for the insurance company.

If you can’t stand the heat…..

10 Responses to “”

  1. Dan tdaxp Says:

    Very lucky everyone is safe!

  2. mark Says:

    Gracias Dan.

    I ended up eating a gyro as the chicken was a lost cause.

  3. Marc Schulman Says:

    I’m visiting friends in Boston, where the forecast for Wednesday is 100 degrees with a 112 degree heat index. I’ll be glad to return to Florida, where it’s cooler!

  4. mark Says:

    Hi Marc,

    Good to hear from you ! There’s a great bakery in Boston’s north end, in an Italian neighborhood on Hanover street -called Mike’s I think( it was incredibly hot we when we were there too but they had good ice cream)

  5. Larry Dunbar Says:

    A propane tank is built to catch fire and not explode. It sounds like your tank functioned correctly. However that is easier said in the classroom and not standing next to a burning propane tank.
    I am glad everything turned out OK. A little snoop (leak detector) around the fittings might be in order next time.

  6. Chirol Says:

    Glad you and your family are safe and that what could have been bad turned into a minor problem. Nevertheless, my sympathies go out to a man without a grill!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I’m glad that turned out all right.

    I’ve worked with compressed gas tanks, and I’ve always felt that I’d rather not have one around the house. My grill is strictly charcoal.

    You’ve convinced me I’ve made the right choice, although one coal did bounce out onto my wood deck once. I put it out before it was more than a centimeter of char.

    If you decide to go to charcoal, those chimney-type lighters that use newspaper instead of lighter fluid work better than I had ever expected!


  8. Jeff Medcalf Says:

    Glad all is well with you and yours. In the neighborhood we’re in now in Waterford, a guy’s house burned completely down due to a fire on the deck not long before we got there.

    And it’s not hot at all where I am at the moment: 75 F in Strasbourg.

  9. mark Says:

    Thank you everyone – things are back to normal today, fortunately :O)

    95 degrees here. Ugh.

  10. Eddie Says:

    Thank God everyone is alright. I hope the insurance company doesn’t engage in any shenanigans.

    Speaking of heat, its always rather uncomfortable at sea around this time of year (especially in a workcenter all the way aft with no A/C, fans or air flow), but now that we’re on the way to Oceania its not so bad.

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