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Old 04-09-2016, 10:47 PM   #1
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RV storage fire-

I was headed over to my storage lot to take measurements for a project when my phone started blowing up from friends saying my storage yard was on fire.

The end result was not good for many. 20 units destroyed- one was my buddy one door over and another was an employees Mom's unit.

No loss of life- no injuries.

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My unit was untouched but I stayed at the lot until we were allowed in then I called those affected.

An rv was left in its spot and forgotten about by its owner. After 10 years, they received notice that their payments had expired and either needed to pay or remove unit. Owner contacted a friend and said if they can get it out- it would be theirs. So a father and sons team drained fuel tank, put in fresh fuel and new battery and cranked on the motor. Fuel lines ruptured and put gas on ground and may have been ignited by engine backfires.




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Old 04-10-2016, 12:47 AM   #2
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Saw that on Facebook. U haul Lake Mead/Tenaya. I know that place, my dad had his boat there. What a shame. Poor guy who's going to lose everything after accidentally causing a fire.

I've been restoring/selling RVs and my least favorite to restore are fire damaged units. These look like total losses.
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Old 04-10-2016, 06:51 AM   #3
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Now I can see at least some reasoning behind the "now working on rv's in the storage lot" rule...

I just hope everyone was fully insured!

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Old 04-10-2016, 04:18 PM   #4
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Kinda funny but not- storage yard buzzed me to ask which tow company I thought would be best to get out the units.

Insurance companies problem.


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Old 04-11-2016, 09:07 AM   #5
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I just hope everyone was fully insured!

Aaron
I think its just as long as the guys who started the fire is insured. I know that if mine was just insured for liability and someone else started a fire that burned it, then you can bet your bippy that they will be the ones to pay for it.

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Old 04-11-2016, 10:10 AM   #6
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But if the unit was forgotten about to the point that the storage yard had to send notice to pay up or get out, doubtful they carried insurance on it!


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Old 04-11-2016, 10:22 AM   #7
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Glade there where no injuries. Guess that is one reason why I'm glade I don't have to store mine in a lot. Later RJD
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:45 PM   #8
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What was really shocking to me was how many propane tanks that did not go boom. There were some explosions from tanks letting go but about 90% of the damaged units still had tanks intact.


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Old 04-11-2016, 02:07 PM   #9
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What was really shocking to me was how many propane tanks that did not go boom. There were some explosions from tanks letting go but about 90% of the damaged units still had tanks intact.


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All propane tanks have pressure relief valves to prevent a BLEVE (pronounced bulevee) or a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion. In other words, applying enough heat to a propane tank will cause the liquid propane to boil, and that pressure will build up till something has to give.

Without the pressure relief, the tank would explode, with the classic fireball and shrapnel everywhere. but with a relief valve, the valve opens at a pressure lower than the tank failure point. You will wind up with a jet of propane out the valve that will usually ignite. Usually by the time the tank vents, the area is on so much fire that it can go unnoticed.

The other think to consider is that tank level greatly impacts the pressure that can build up. IIRC, a under 1/2 empty tank can vaporize its whole load and stay under the relief valve pop-off pressure.

These days, its exceedingly rare for a consumer propane tank to explode in a fire. If one does, it usually turns out its an older one without the relief valve.

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Old 04-11-2016, 02:10 PM   #10
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All propane tanks have pressure relief valves to prevent a BLEVE (pronounced bulevee) or a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion. In other words, applying enough heat to a propane tank will cause the liquid propane to boil, and that pressure will build up till something has to give.

Without the pressure relief, the tank would explode, with the classic fireball and shrapnel everywhere.
And don't under estimate the force of the explosion from one of these 30 or 40 lb tanks. I use to conduct high-speed filming of BLEVE tests and it is frightening what a small propane tank can do when in a fire. Although not as much as the 18-wheeler full of mortar rounds did...
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