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Re: RE: Hell Night

Original poster: DRIEBEN@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


With over 16 years as a professional firefighter
I can truly understand your loss. Although I haven't
personally experienced this firsthand, I've been a
firsthand witness to the loss and devestation that
a house fire can bring to its victims countless times
in the course of my profession. My heart really goes
out to you in your loss and I'm praying that you can
get back on your feet and put this all behind you
and rebuild your life as soon as possible. I think
my sentiments reflect those of the vast majority of
this list. I'm very glad that neither you nor your
wife were hurt in the fire and I'm also glad to hear
that the cause was not due to any carelessness on your
part with any of your high voltage equipment. Wishing
you the best and that you can get back to sparking

David Rieben

> >
> >3/27/05
> >
> >Over the past twenty years I have enjoyed Tesla coiling and various
> >high
> >energy-HV pursuits. I have collected a vast array of books,
> >instruments
> >and just plane interesting and good "stuff". I have made many
> >different
> >coils, projects, models and instruments. My three car garage turned
> >into a two car garage with a hobbyist lab/shop in one bay and along
> >two
> >walls. In addition to my electronic equipment, I put together a
> >modest
> >shop with many tools and power equipment. As time went by my
> >collection
> >grew bigger and even better and I have spent enumerable pleasurable
> >hours with my hobby. I know our avocation is often considered
> >dangerous, but I always practice it with care and caution.
> >
> >On 3/24/05 I left work and arrived home about 5:30 PM. I parked my
> >2000
> >Ford Expedition in the middle bay and went through the breezeway
> >into my
> >house. I went up to my small office just off my bed room on the
> >second
> >floor of my house to work on my computer. Just after 7:00 PM we
> >heard a
> >muffled boom and the windows shook a little. My wife asked if I
> >heard
> >that noise and I said 'yes, I think it's just a truck in front of
> >the
> >house' (the road crews were re-surfacing the road at night). She
> >thought someone was trying to enter our house through the back
> so we
> >turned on the back outside lights and there seemed to be no problem.
> > We
> >heard another noise down stairs so I went down to investigate.
> >Nothing
> >and no one was in the house. But, as I rounded the corner to the
> >breezeway I heard a muffled cracking sound in the garage. I was
> >sure
> >someone was in the garage. I cracked the door open and reached in
> >and
> >flipped on the light. I opened the door and to my complete surprise
> >and
> >astonishment I found not a person, but fire and black smoke
> >billowing
> >up. I have two garage fire extinguishers, but immediately knew I
> >could
> >not manage the situation with them. I slammed the door and told my
> >wife
> >to call 911.
> >
> >I ran back through the house and out the front door to the driveway
> >in
> >front of the garage. The intense heat caused two garage doors to
> >partially open about half way. The flames quickly spread and
> >completely
> >engulfed my Expedition and my wife's just paid for 1997 BMW. The
> >fire
> >spread incredibly fast. At that point, I knew it was really
> >dangerous
> >and yelled for my wife to run out the back door onto our dock, which
> >she
> >did. I ran out to the street to direct the fire trucks when they
> >came.
> >Even though the fire station is only two miles away it seemed like
> >it
> >took them forever to get there and set up.
> >
> >The fire was an inferno at this point. The garage was totally
> >consumed
> >in flames and there were about a dozen more explosions. There was
> >one
> >huge explosion and fire and debris ejected about 50 feet out the
> >garage
> >doors and the garage roof lifted up several feet. A fire ball went
> >up
> >past the top of the surrounding oak trees to about 75 - 100 feet.
> >One
> >oak tree caught on fire. The fire started going up the breezeway
> >under
> >the eves to my house. At that point, I suddenly knew the house
> >would
> >catch on fire and probably burn to the ground.
> >
> >The Navy and Coast Guard were conducting night maneuvers out on the
> >St
> >Johns River behind my house. A helicopter saw my wife on the
> end of
> >the
> >dock and directed a Coast Guard boat over to the dock with its
> >search
> >light. My wife sure did appreciate those two guys coming over to
> >help
> >her. I did too.
> >
> >When the fire engines arrived the fire was up to the breezeway and
> >starting to enter the house. These guys were tremendous. Their
> >plan
> >was to attack the fire at the breezeway/house and try to cut it off
> >from
> >the inferno in the garage. Miraculously, it worked. It took over
> >three
> >hours to get the fire out.
> >
> >We got out with the clothes on our backs and are in a Holiday Inn
> >now.
> >Our home is extensively damaged and we will be out of it for about
> >eight
> >months for repair. The breezeway, adjacent trees, garage and both
> >cars
> >are destroyed. My beloved equipment, tools and invaluable treasures
> >no
> >longer exist.
> >
> >Of course, the real question is how did all this happen? I will
> >tell
> >you categorically our hobby had nothing at all to do with this
> >catastrophe. When I initially went into the garage and saw the
> >fire, it was under the Expedition engine area. Flames were coming
> >out around the driver's side wheel well and around the hood
> where it
> >was fitted to the SUV. A large amount of black smoke was also coming
> >out of this area. There was no other area burning or out of
> order in
> >the garage. The fire was entirely caused by the car.
> >
> >I write only to inform you disasters can and do happen, and that we
> >should all continuously strive for safety in what ever we do.
> >
> >The only good thing about all of this is Anne and I are still alive
> >and
> >not hurt. Even though it will take a good year of our lives to
> >recover,
> >only material things were lost. Oh well, I don't even own a screw
> >driver now.
> >
> >stork
> >
> >
> >
> >