Friday, June 25, 2010

Wet Charcoal, Part Deux??

If you are a fan of our web page, you may have run across our page The Myth About Storing Wet Charcoal. You see, every fire department web site seems to warn about storing wet charcoal, but there doesn't appear to be any information or theory that would support this notion that wet charcoal with spontaneously ignite. We have never had anyone provide us with an eyewitness report of this happening. Every news article about it seems to follow a familiar pattern: 1) House burns down, 2) Fire Department gets fire under control, 3) Fire Department investigates after the fire is out, 4) Fire Department says it was caused by wet charcoal. But, never anything like "I was standing there next to this wet bag of charcoal when it burst into flames."

We have also never had any fire official contact us to explain these warnings or provide any justification for them. We have never had any fire official contact us at all.

That is, until now. We have received an email from a Fire Marshal in Washington state who has provided us with a reference that claims a 50 pound bag of charcoal could spontaneously ignite. So, ever the curious investigators that we are, willing to spare no expense to get to the truth, we have ordered a used copy of Kirk's Fire Investigation from Amazon to see what this is all about.

So you can expect some sort of update to our web page in the next several weeks as we look into this new information. We doubt it will change our minds regarding the possibility that wet charcoal can spontaneously ignite. If it were happening as often as the media reports would have us believe, we should be able to recreate this spontaneous combustion ourselves. But we can't. We are considering offering a cash reward to anyone who can provide a step-by-step procedure for making 20 pounds or less of any brand of charcoal spontaneously ignite due to getting wet. Stay tuned....



At June 25, 2010 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Step 1: Buy a 20 lb bag of charcoal.
Step 2: Make it wet with lighter fluid.
Step 3: Throw a match on the bag.
Step 4: Watch it spontaneously combust.

Where's my money? :)

At June 25, 2010 at 11:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's also a fact that if you put garbage & discarded food in an open bucket, rats will be spontaneously generated.

At June 26, 2010 at 10:09 AM , Anonymous Sanny said...

Maybe the charcoal was wet after the fire because.... it go wet from the fire fighters! Ta daaah! Charcoal, wet after a fire.

At July 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At July 20, 2010 at 2:56 PM , Blogger The Naked Whiz said...

It is interesting to note that the study cited in Kirk's Fire Investigation was done by essentially the same group of people who did the study cited in our web page that said it would take a house-sized pile of charcoal to self-ignite. Interesting. Still looking into this.....


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