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Magnesium issues in a car/truck fire

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    AlaskaFireGuy
    Forum Member

  • AlaskaFireGuy
    replied
    One option that no one has addressed is purple K. I know the Navy uses it on Carriers to put out Magnesium wheels on aircraft and keep them from burning big holes in the flight deck.

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  • mdcook
    Forum Member

  • mdcook
    replied
    Small Class D fires

    What we use in my fire department and at the International Speedway that I volunteer at is a 2.5 gallon water extinguisher filled with 9 quarts of water and 1 quart od Cold Fire. That makes a 10% solution that very quickly cools off the fire and extinguish it. It also works on small alumumin and titainium fires.

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  • footrat
    Forum Member

  • footrat
    replied
    I just keep hitting it with water, because I like the bright flash.

    Seriously, though, if you add copious amounts of water, you'll do one of two things:

    1. Put it out.

    2. Make it burn faster, thereby putting it out.

    It's just a car, not a magnesium plant. Keep some distance, and put water on it.

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  • RIT4
    Forum Member

  • RIT4
    replied
    Produce water fog curtain to shield themselves from the heat of a fire.

    If the addition of a fire fighting agent intensifies the reaction (which suggests magnesium has become involved), fire fighting operation with water should be stopped.

    If it continues to smoke or sizzle after the flames are out, hydrogen is being produced. The addition of water, if indoors, should be stopped since it can increase hydrogen generation.

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  • philfirerescue
    MembersZone Subscriber

  • philfirerescue
    replied
    Originally posted by Fireeaterbob View Post
    I have had a few car fires where a lump of Magnesium has become a pain in the butt. I usually identify it pretty early on but my crews have had a bit of trouble dealing with it. We have tried narrow fog, straight stream, and on the Chief's orders- foam....I'm apprehensive about a foam blanket after the container explosion that killed a FF north of the border. Does anyone know a trick to cooling the darn stuff down without starting a fourth of July show on the floor board?
    I assume this video is a magnesium incident? Has anyone else seen this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLoF9...layer_embedded

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  • CKirk922
    MembersZone Subscriber

  • Fireeaterbob
    replied
    I only mentioned the factory because it was an EXTREME fire load. Yeh, they did stand back and watch for a couple of days I think

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  • Rescue101
    Forum Member

  • Rescue101
    replied
    I'm FINE with that. You get too close you WILL get magnesium balls thrown at you. In SMALL quantities magnesium CAN be extingushed with water,you just need to move SLOWLY and cool the material below the ignition temp(or sustained burning rate temp). Factory full? I DON'T think so. Stand back and watch. T.C.

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  • CKirk922
    MembersZone Subscriber

  • Fireeaterbob
    replied
    The factory statement came from a recent video clip I came across (recent as in 6-9 months ago) concerning a factory in L. A. As crews were setting up lines and what not, aerials were flowing and the show that followed rivalled the Fourth of July.

    The overall purpose of this thread was to gain some know-how on attacking these pesky fires. For some god forsaken reason, the local habitat likes to drag vehicles to remote locations and play jr amature arsonist. By the time we get the call, get to the middle of nowhereland the fires have a serious head start. We have been seeing a lot more Magnesium chunks lately.

    Couple this fact with the use of foam on our department and the dumpster fire in Canada that killed at least one FF when fire crews put water and then foam on burning metals, I figured it might be time to investigate this further.

    My REAL concern is that my crews are wanting to get up way too close and personal with car fires. Magnesium fireworks displays in the front seat kinda make that a no-no. I appreciate the great technical and strategic input. I will try to use it to better explain the options for a car attack.
    CKirk922
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Last edited by CKirk922; 09-14-2011, 09:46 PM.

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  • Rescue101
    Forum Member

  • Rescue101
    replied
    Be smart about it. The amount of Exotic metal in a modern automobile/lt truck is quite small. Be prepared for fireworks and slowly and steadily cool the material. With STRAIGHT WATER and some patience it WILL go out. Or it will burn itself out. If it's hot enough to light off you aren't " saving" the vehicle anyway. Stay back a bit and cool the area,then mop up. Now a FACTORY full of the stuff? Different tactics ENTIRELY. T.C.
    Rescue101
    Forum Member
    Last edited by Rescue101; 11-19-2010, 10:17 AM.

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  • firefightinirish217
    Forum Member

  • firefightinirish217
    replied
    Originally posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Dirt.

    And why flush on the 1 3/4"?
    Glad I read on, I was just about to post this exact same response.

    As odd s it sounds, dirt works great if you don't have the proper class D extinguisher, and I doubt your apparatus carries any class D extinguishers. Unless you work at a factory where flammable metals are used for manufacture.

    Leave a comment:

  • L-Webb
    Forum Member

  • L-Webb
    replied
    So form what I am hearing from you guys is.... Don't use a solid stream or fog or anything that will break the burning material up, Use flooding amounts of water.

    Or just let it burn if that is an option.

    Leave a comment:

  • kuh shise
    MembersZone Subscriber

  • KuhShise
    replied
    "you can't compare magnesium in a car to a Los Angeles magnesium factory fire in 1942."

    100% correct, but I was trying to avoid the implication that it can't be extinguished. Some casual readers might make the jump from allowing a small quantity to burn itself out, to not seeking additional information on extinguishment when the position, conditions and amount make extinguishment the best choice. Many people in this 50 word sound bite world want an instant formula for success, instead of learning the basics of physics and chemistry and then collecting the necessary information about a situation and making an informed decision based upon all the data and experience you can muster. All you can ask of a firefighter, co officer or the I.C. is to bring along his brain, experience and knowledge, when faced with the daily challenges of serving the public.

    Leave a comment:

  • MemphisE34a
    Forum Member

  • MemphisE34a
    replied
    Originally posted by KuhShise View Post
    Memphis E34: Although I'm just a "Volunteer" I take things very serious concerning operations on the fireground, and have done so for the past 42 years.
    No need to verify your credentials due to volunteer status. I am paid and union proud whet I am paid. I have been a volunteer longer in the community where I reside. I realize that being paid does not necessarily make you a better firefighter.
    One of our lead instructors always "salted" the vehicles with magnesium turnings from a local machine shop. The high surface to weight ratio allows heavy fire to be developed rather quickly and when placed in the floorboard area it almost gurantees lots of pyrotechnics when water was applied. The searching for reasons and extinguishing techniques was more of a self defense measure, rather than an incentive to learn.
    Exactly, not a good way to learn or teach and not the situation described in this thread. There is a difference between extra shavings thrown in the car and a fifty cent size piece of magnesium in the steering column of a standard car.

    There is a lot of good info for company officers and well as chiefs contained in Fried's book. No, I don't carry it with me, but my copy, purchased in the 1970's, still occupies a place in my personal library.
    Fair enough, but again, you can't compare magnesium in a car to a Los Angeles magnesium factory fire in 1942.

    Leave a comment:

  • kuh shise
    MembersZone Subscriber

  • KuhShise
    replied
    Memphis E34: Although I'm just a "Volunteer" I take things very serious concerning operations on the fireground, and have done so for the past 42 years. In the "old days" before the EPA and "Safety Sallies" we were exposed to "Fire Fun Weekends" as a 48 hour live-in training sesion that included live burns of everything from grass and brush, to dumpsters, cars, and aquired structures that were torched and then you were sent to the problem. It is one heck of a training session that makes you think fast and learn faster. If you wanted to survive being thrown under the bus, you searched for and read everything you could lay your hands on to help understand what was going on. One of our lead instructors always "salted" the vehicles with magnesium turnings from a local machine shop. The high surface to weight ratio allows heavy fire to be developed rather quickly and when placed in the floorboard area it almost gurantees lots of pyrotechnics when water was applied. The searching for reasons and extinguishing techniques was more of a self defense measure, rather than an incentive to learn. There is a lot of good info for company officers and well as chiefs contained in Fried's book. No, I don't carry it with me, but my copy, purchased in the 1970's, still occupies a place in my personal library.

    Leave a comment:

  • len1582
    Forum Member

  • len1582
    replied
    Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    ........ it will make it angry at first, but stay on it , it will cool off.
    Sounds like a girl I used to go out with...

    Leave a comment:

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