Corn silo collapse gets hotter than expected

I tried to make a "flamethrower" with a bag of flour and a hairdryer when I was a kid. It wasn't very reliable, but it got the job done.

July 31, 2017 at approximately 1:00 pm. Switz City, Indiana. White Farms Inc. Overhead tank collapsed full of corn. It hit a power line on the way down and sparked the grain dust igniting the dust and causing the flash. We are very fortunate that there were no injuries!

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Nominative Determinism

Nominative determinism: "the hypothesis that people tend to gravitate towards areas of work that fit their names."

Exhibit A.

Police are confident that 59-year-old John Burns has a connection to at least 19 arsons on Sharon’s west side. All of those fires have happened since the beginning of this year.

At this point, he is only charged with one count of attempted arson and one count of causing or risking catastrophe. ... Over the past two years, the total number of fires in Sharon is estimated to be near 30.

Exhibit B. Read the rest

Startling space image of California wildfire smoke plume

On Sunday, NASA's Earth-monitoring Terra satellite captured this image of a smoke plume from the brutal Alamo Fire blazing in the County of Santa Barbara, California. According to the County, more than 600 firefighters have contained about 45% of the fire that's currently burning across 28,926 acres. It started on July 6. Read the rest

How to start a yard fire

The key component of a quality yard fire is ignorance, but you must remember to mix it with a sufficient quantity of flammable material and oxygen.

BONUS: How to start a bonfire on a moor.

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Artist specialized in paintings of Chase bank on fire

I love Alex Schaefer impasto works depicting branches of Chase bank going up in flames in daytime. They were from a series by him called "Disaster Capitalism," and apparently the banks (and cops) would pretend he was planning acts of arson to try and make him stop painting. [via mutantspace, via Janie]

On July 30, 2011, Alex Schaefer set up an easel across the road from a Chase bank and began painting the building in flames. However, before he had finished the police arrived, asked him for his information and if he was planning on actually carrying out an arson attack on the building. Ridiculous. Later they turned up on his doorstep asking about his artwork and looking for any signs that he was going to carry through an anarcho – terrorist plot based on his paintings. If this wasn’t bad enough a year later he was arrested for drawing the word ‘crime’ with a Chase logo in front of an LA bank.

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Atlanta interstate catches fire and collapses

A massive fire in Northeast Atlanta this afternoon caused the busy I-85 freeway to collapse. The cause has been yet to be determined.

CNN has a live video feed:

Flames are erupting underneath an Atlanta interstate as black smoke is billowing under all sides. Local officials are on the scene and working to determine a cause.

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Should you worry if you left your stove burner on?

Did you forget to turn off your stove burner before leaving the house this morning? Don't worry about it. Easier said than done, but...

"A stove is designed to run indefinitely," says John Drengenberg, the Consumer Safety Director at Underwriters Laboratories where they test such things. "Do we recommend that? Absolutely not."

"If you leave it on, and there's nothing on the stove or near the stove, it probably will stay running until you come back," he tells DIGG.

UL tests just about every stove that hits the market. Part of that testing involves ensuring they hit thermal stability. In other words, they turn the stove on, and check the temperature of the burner, and keep checking the temperature until it stops increasing — just to make sure the burner doesn't ultimately set the entire stove on fire.

That said, leaving something cooking unattended on the burner can absolutely cause a fire. Read the rest

Man camped at Turkmenistan's "Door to Hell" and shot video of it

Nothing seems real to me now until it's been youtubed on a cellphone camera; that special mix of artifacty shadows, blown highlights and uncanny detail everywhere else signifies the zenith of media-era simulated authenticity. Elliott's there, though, and it's terrifying!

It's 4am in the centre of Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert, I'm sitting on the rim to what could be described as the world's largest campfire -- known locally as the 'Door to Hell', or officially as Darvaza Gas Crater.

"Bit windy," he says. Read the rest

Man charged after "setting a fire" in a Texas Walmart

Firefighters were able to douse the flames within minutes, but not before smoke filled the Princeton, Texas Walmart and forced shoppers to evacuate. Four were treated for minor injuries and a suspect, Jario Briceno-Barrientos, will face the heat in court after allegedly using lighter fluid to set fire to a pile of clothing.

Princeton police were able to arrest the suspect after posting surveillance video of him on their Facebook page. "Due to the overwhelming support from the citizens we were able to capture the suspect," the Facebook post read. "Thank you, everybody, for your continual help and support!"

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A guide to fire safety in industrial spaces

Following the tragic fire in an Oakland warehouse space called Ghost Ship, engineer and designer Gui Cavalcanti put together a guide to help ensure that unconventional homes, studios, and galleries are as safe as possible. Cavalcanti’s article acknowledges that people generally use these types of spaces because they can’t afford more conventional real estate. And his guide centers on small, inexpensive changes that can save lives. Here's an excerpt:

Make sure your exit infrastructure is fire-safe. News reports indicate that the Ghost Ship fire was exacerbated by the fact that an improvised stairwell was made of pallets. For the record, people often construct bonfires out of pallets. They are not sound building material, they are not fire-resistant in any way, and they should not have been serving as exit infrastructure between the first and second floor. I’ve seen many pieces of improvised infrastructure in the spaces I’ve visited; second floors that are served by home-built wooden ladders, wooden lofts that serve as mezzanines, catwalks made of old building materials, you name it. All of these examples can be extremely hazardous in a fire or other hazardous situation. They’re cool, they’re edgy, they’re creative, but they can also be fundamentally unsafe. Make sure you have safe exit paths (that are marked and made of fire-safe materials) to all of your spaces, even if you also have decorative walkways and paths. Ladders, poles, ropes and other features are not safe exits.

You can read the full piece over on Medium. Read the rest

What happens when powerlines fall on a chainlink fence

Protip: when powerlines fall on your chainlink fence, remove yourself from proximity to the chainlink fence. Read the rest

Tar sands production in Canada pretty much shut down by Fort McMurray wildfire

Almost all of Canada's tar sands production has been shut down by a raging wildfire in Alberta's Fort McMurray region.

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Owners watch their home burn via indoor security camera connected to iPhone

This home was burned to the ground in the Fort McMurray wildfire. The owners watched their living room go up in smoke via a security camera feed sent to their iPhone. Read the rest

Incredible timelapse of Dubai skyscraper in flames

On New Year's Eve, a 63-story hotel in Dubai caught on fire. There were no fatalities. Kirill Neiezhmako's time lapse video of the inferno is like something from a big budget Hollywood movie. Read the rest

Japanese live streamer accidentally starts his apartment on fire

This guy was showing off his cigarette lighters and matches when he accidentally started a small fire. While he was putting it out, he started an even bigger fire, which wasn't so easy to put out. Read the rest

Reminder: don't set fire to spiders while you pump gas

A foolish motorist was lucky to escape unharmed after trying to kill a spider in Center Line, Michigan, with fire. At a gas pump. While pumping gas.

After spotting the terrifying creature and perhaps remembering the Internet's advice on how such things are best disposed of, he whipped out a lighter and promptly set ablaze everything in front of him. He put out the fire himself with a nearby extinguisher, but not before the pump was destroyed.

Fox News Detroit reports that he later came back to say he was sorry.

This charred fuel pump says it all. We are told his car was barely damaged from the flames. But his embarrassing mistake didn't stop the man from coming back the next day as a customer.

"He was sorry," Susan said. "He was sorry, he said he didn't know. It is just one of those things that happen - stupidity."

Adams said this serves as a reminder about being careful around gas pumps. Whether it is using a cell phone or static electricity, the smallest spark can cause a gas station fire.

It is not noted in reports whether the spider escaped immolation. Read the rest

Ghost hunters burn down mansion

The LeBeau Plantation house in St. Bernard Parish, La., was long considered haunted. Now it's considered toast, having allegedly been burned to the ground by stoned ghost hunters. Local Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said that the fire broke out at about 2 a.m. Friday, reports Fox News, with the mansion "fully engulfed in flames" by the time firefighters arrived. [via Fortean Times] Read the rest

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