Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read! - BBQ Central

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Old 06-04-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
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Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

I have been working on smoking for a small chain of resturants in my area as alot of you know. Last night I have a large amount of meat in my custom offset reverse flow. Had everything cooking but had a hard time controlling my temps throughout the chamber firebox temp was running normal to low but left side opposite stacks and firebox was running very hot for some reason. I had just figured it was 90 plus degrees and windy out and it was just playing hell on my air flow. Had 20 large brisket flats and 10 pork butts cooking at the time. About 6 hrs into the cook I look out at my smoker and I am chucking smoke from everywhere on the unit. Thick dark smoke. I went out and had a huge grease fire due to the amout of fat running off of the meat and my failure to open my drain valve. With all the fat not going out it made its way over the lip of the reverse flow and got under it and headed to the firebox. I in the heat of the moment closed all the vents trying to snuff the fire out. Didnt work. So fire extinguish time was at hand. So what did I do? Stupidly I opened the left side chamber door! Can we say BACKDRAFT? Fireball hurled out at me at face level burning my left arm and burning hair. I was more than lucky. I had someone on my shoulder yesterday. To all that love what we do, we ALWAYS have to do this with caution. My senses are now going to be alot sharper to what my unit is doing and the dangers that exist when working with this will ALWAYS be on my mind. Today I am working on cleaning out my unit, dealing with the loss of over 600 dollars worth of product and thanking God that I am home safe with my family and not in a burn unit dealing with major skin grafting and all the pain that it could have caused. I will continue to do what we love to do, but will stick with the smaller work from now on. I hope this post will put this in the back of everyones mind so that this type of possible tragedy will not happen to any of my fellow smokers.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #2
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Thanks for sharing a hard learned lesson. Had this happen to me on a smaller scale with a conventional old log burner one time. Had it tilted slightly too high in the front so all the grease from 10 briskets puddle up downhill on the firebox end as opposed to going to the drainhole end. On that occasion just shut off all the air and waited a bit and it calmed right down. Only lost one brisket to the crispy critter type configuration. Not sure why it didnt work for you. The pit must be intaking from exotic locations.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:06 PM   #3
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Damn Hawk, you better go play the lottery cause you have some luck going on! Glad all worked out okay ... other then the - $600
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:38 PM   #4
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Im glad to hear ur ok... im a beginner at this whole smoking thing and I love it. Thanks for sharing this with is too keep us all aware of dangers that come with smoking.
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Back at it today. Using small smoker tho. To much work to do to wait to finish clean up of my large beast. Grad party , Farmers market and some friends moving needing to feed about 30. Hated to go on without my main stay but gotta do it. Just want to make sure everyone is aware of the dangers of the hobby we love. Little bit of pain today from the burns but all in all pretty lucky. Just like riding a bike once you fall off you get up take off again. lol
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Old 06-04-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Yikes.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:32 AM   #7
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Your lucky! Check out these clowns,
http://youtu.be/gwAZi4wLaZQ
FAIL! Too stupid to grab something to slam the doors shut.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:46 AM   #8
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Wow man Glad you ok for the most part, sounds like that could have been alot worse, seems like you learned alot from this and thank you for making us take note aswell
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:53 AM   #9
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Well that really sux but you didn't really sustain any major injuries which is great.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:08 PM   #10
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Glad to here your ok, our prayers is with you
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:23 PM   #11
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Thanks everyone for concern. Got smoker cleaned out and 12 pork butts going today already. I didnt use fire extinguisher so didnt have to worry about chemical cleaning. Got up early today opened the chamber doors. Cleaned out the firebox and lite the weed burner up. I set the fire that bit me friday all over again. With the weed burner I lite the grease from the firebox and just let it burn itself completely to ash...of course I now have to repaint the unit in spots that got to hot but was the only really perfect solution to how to remove ALL of the grease and start over. Once I was finished the smoker looked great except for painting. Now the temps are holding steady and consistent all day...happy smoker once again
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Old 06-07-2011, 02:02 PM   #12
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

I am so, very happy that you are ok !
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Thanks friesian...small bit of 3rd degree burn on fore arms but not much more than that luckily. Back in the saddle with 12 pork shoulders out Sunday afternoon and ready for farmers market , graduation party and a moving party all scheduled for Saturday...lol. Nothing like getting back on that horse huh? lol
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #14
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawk wild bbq co
Thanks friesian...small bit of 3rd degree burn on fore arms but not much more than that luckily. Back in the saddle with 12 pork shoulders out Sunday afternoon and ready for farmers market , graduation party and a moving party all scheduled for Saturday...lol. Nothing like getting back on that horse huh? lol

I'm hoping you don't really mean third degree burns; those can be very serious and painful ! Just don't do anything that will aggravate the recently burned tissue.... and keep your burns clean to avoid risk of infection. Ok, 12 pork shoulders, that should "ease" you back in..... LOL Happy Smoking!
( Oh, I do like your reference to "getting back on that horse" and " back in the saddle " ; that's always what I say LOL - I'm a horse gal, you know )
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:41 PM   #15
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Yes great you escaped major injuries. Let us give praises unto the Lord.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:16 PM   #16
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

Holy Cow! That is a close call. I do not see me cooking that much at one time but your story will certainly stick in my head every time I light my smoker. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:38 AM   #17
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

This is why I have a pad lock on my big pit. If I have 12-15 pork butts on, keeps the morons from opening it while I go get a beer. I cook direct and a big rush of air will light a pit up in a second. Glad your okay!
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:47 PM   #18
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Re: Close call evaded major burns...everyone needs to read!

All fire requires is fuel & oxygen. Shut all dampers and exhaust, and it should snuff out. Then you can dump some water in there to make steam and hopefully lower the flash point.
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