Skip to comments.Man critically burned when space heater sparks fire (poured kerosene into lighted space heater)
Posted on 11/25/2012 3:07:29 PM PST by Arthurio
An Oxon Hill man was critically injured when he tried to pour kerosene into a lighted space heater in his living room early Sunday, fire officials said.
The 50-year-old man, who was not immediately identified, suffered burns to 70 to 80 percent of his body, according to Prince Georges County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor. He said the burns included respiratory damage that is difficult to survive.
Firefighters were summoned to the single-family home in the 5100 block of Boulder Drive at 5:15 a.m. to find that the kerosene had ignited the area of the living room surrounding the heater. The mans wife had escaped the house, Bashoor said, but the man had not.
Bashoor cautioned against filling space heaters indoors or when they already have been lighted.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Feel bad for the poor man. But seeing these types of stories helps explain how Obama was re-elected.
You can still buy kerosene? I thought it had been outlawed years ago....
No cure for stupid but disaster and death!
Did his Obama photo and Obama phones survive?
I’m blaming demon rum, possibly pot...... did they pass a medical marijuana bill in Maryland?
The kerosene can did it. Now comes the law suit.
The only way this could have been more stupid
would have been if he had been on oxygen at the
These days there is a pill for everything but there is no pill for stupid
Rabbit poop works fairly well, takes a while though.
No, kerosene still exists and is sold as fuel for heaters and lamps, both in jugs and from pumps at specialty fuel stations.
Sounds like something is missing from this account. Kerosene’s flash point (where it generates a high enough concentration of its fumes in air that it would support a flame) is well above 100 degrees F, and it won’t ignite or keep burning without the action of something like a wick that allows the local temperature to be kept above that flash point. It would be very difficult to start an accidental fire by spilling kerosene. If this were gasoline or a kerosene-gasoline mix, that would be a different story.
Maybe in some states but I keep a kerosene heater around plus 5 gallons of deodorized kerosene for it in case of emergency.
Here in Wasilla Alaska you can buy a modern kerosene heater at Walmart or any hardware store, the kerosene itself is about $45 for 5 gallons.
Okay... there is stupid and then there is HowDidYouLiveThisLong Stupid?
A couple of years ago Home Depot was selling kerosene for $45 per 5 gal can. They didn’t sell many.
I’m surprised he made it to 50.
That sounds excessively pricey.
“Dumb Ways to Die” ping ...
He just wanted to stake his candidacy for the Darwin Awards.
Looks like they just updated the story. The man apparently has died from his injuries. RIP.
Let's see... (1) Hopefully reusable/refillable blue 5 gal. kerosene container = $15. Add 5 gallons kerosene = $30.
Even looking at it this way, $6 per gallon for kero is a ripoff even if you got a "free" container...
“The only way this could have been more stupid would have been if he had been on oxygen at the same time.”
With a lit cigarette hanging from his lips...
I have some of the expensive 5 gallon jugs from home depot. I have read where it is “illegal” to use the bulk stuff from the gas station (with dye?) in your kerosene heater. Back in another state where I used a kerosene heater all the time it was allowed and cheap.
Now I just have it on hand for emergencies so the expensive stuff is okay. But I can’t imagine there is that much, if any, difference between the grades. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to buy a blue container and find a station that sells it to check it out.
***Rabbit poop works fairly well, takes a while though. ***
50 years ago we called them “wise pills”, and I can think of several who needed a few of them each day.
The article said “space heater” and what comes to mind was the long fan forced jet burners, I use several at work all the time and they are fed number 1 diesel. We never fuel one while its running. But the modern kerosene or Kerosun brand named heaters use a pull out fuel container, you can take it out while the unit is burning and I have done that many times.
Its like a one gallon or larger fuel can with a special valve at the bottom that only opens when its inserted in the heater.
And when adjusted properly they can heat a large area fairly well, its when the wick gets bad or when water gets in the fuel they smoke bad, and you must have fresh air in the room. A heater most greeners won’t approve of.
Perhaps he got his containers mixed up. I’ve always thought of kerosene as fairly safe...seeing that a lamp features an open flame right above it. And notwithstanding the Darwin Award posts on this thread, I have added fuel to a lit lamp before. Heck, I’ve tried to use kerosene as a lighter fluid for charcoal, with no success.
There is an unending supply of idiots!
Mineral spirits works fine, although some prepackaged stuff may have some water in the container.
I got three space heaters in my place, and I'll even use of oven (I live in a really small place) if I need to keep the place warmed up, but I never leave them unattended and I ensure they are off and cooled down before I leave the place.
Doing some websearches see that the red dye kerosene works fine, but may need to service/replace the wick more often on my Kero-sun heater. Sounds like they will also run on diesel (but may need more attention to the wick). But good to know in a pinch you can use diesel. With a CO alarm and a window cracked a bit!
I wonder too if he got the fuel wrong (put gas in instead of kerosene)?
I am talking about two very different types of heaters, the forced air ones are the ones usually used at construction sights are NOT to be used at home unless you really really have to, they will kill you in an unvented room.
The traditional kerosene heater that I have used for several decades has a round wick that draws up kerosene and basically burns like a clean candle, you adjust the flame to the point their is almost no yellow, they can be used indoors but still require some air movement, these I MIGHT use number 1 diesel in a pinch, would stink like well a diesel truck. Yes they could work on number 1 but number 2 diesel would smoke too much, not as light as number 1 diesel. Best to get high quality kerosene fuel and add some additives to remove any other smells, plus to remove any moisture from stored fuel.
Don't know what part of this country you are in and each area seems to do things differently, but I live in NY with the Jersey border close by, and in this area stations sell K1 kero (clear, heating grade.) Don't know if they dye the kero where you are, but heating grade kero is K1 and is clear (at least around here.) They will typically have it labeled 'not for vehicle use' because there is no road tax on it (here.) Before diesel suppliers routinely 'winterized' their product for cold climates, diesel drivers would mix kero with the diesel in their tanks, but now (again, around here) you can't 'legally' do that because the kero they sell is 'not for road use'. Wallyworld and other such sell bottles of 'lamp oil' usually containing citronella for tiki torches and without for lanterns and such.
Several stations also sell off road diesel(again, no road tax and definitely not a kero replacement) for farm tractors and diesel generators and the sometimes necessary back up supply for your oil furnace. Start of every winter I get 10 gal of off road just in case I mess up on my fuel oil delivery.. The vehicle fuel diesel is undyed and is a yellowish color, the off road stuff is an obnoxious red color (you find that out when it spills on your leg...)
Probably more information than you wanted ;-)
Seeing as my heater is just for emergencies that is what I do. Here in the Seattle area when we get power outages there are ALWAYS two types of stories. One where the generator is brought inside (or the garage) and people get sick and/or die. The other is people bringing their charcoal Weber grill inside to keep warm - Asians mostly. They don't realize it isn't the same type of “charcoal”, and also the homes are more weather-tight.
Yes - it was out in NJ where I regularly used my Kerosun heater in my small house out in the country. Sounds like lots of stations still have it to pump.
Clean fuel is vital. Every 2nd or 3rd tank allow the heater to burn completely dry until it goes out by itself. This will burn out the tar deposits in the wick top. Wick tops are fiberglass in all but the smallest and earliest models. The wicks are not consumed, don't need trimming but will clog with unburned fuel components. Water in the fuel will dissolve the adhesives used to join the wick sections and also interfere with capillary action.
I know of a lot of NJ stations at least up in the Sussex/Warren/Hunterdon County areas that pump K1 clear. The pumps once were usually in line with their diesel pumps. Some winters ago while driving my 1981 VW diesel I got a load of marginal diesel and was having difficulty keeping the car running and I did not have any additive with me. Pulled into a station with a kero pump and tried to pump a gallon of kero into my tank. The gas station jockey about had a heart attack because of the 'not for road use' sign. I had an empty gallon water container, I handed it to the pump jockey and said, "hold this.. Anyone asks you can say 'he had a container...'" (didn't say I pumped the stuff into the container.. - I got the kero in the tank and the car ran fine after that.. also don't think I ever left home without my diesel treatment after that.)
Seems Romans chapter 1 says something similar to your tagline...
Thanks for the advice on keeping the wick clean!
When the wick runs dry you won't see visible flame but the deposits in the wick will be glowing like charcoal. When it finally goes out nothing is left but harmless white ash.
Refill, wait 15 minutes for the wick to prime and you're good to go.
I don’t claim to be an expert, but from what I can tell, burning Kerosene, Diesel, Wood, or Gasoline indoors (without venting the exhaust) is not a good idea as Carbon Monoxide is almost always produced.
However, Natural Gas, Propane, and Butane will not produce Carbon Monoxide unless the Oxygen supply is depleted, and Propane heaters will shut down when the Oxygen level depletes, and before Carbon Monoxide starts being produced.
So Propane is a fuel for backup heating, per my research, although you have to treat it with respect and understand just how explosive it is if it leaks.
We make regular use of a kerosene heater in our home. A real pain to replace the wick every couple of years - looking up the right cross reference and finding one. You’d think by now I’d have a few extra wicks and igniters on hand, but no. I wonder if this guy poured kerosene directly into the flame? We never fill our heater unless it’s been turned off for at least 15 minutes.
Wick type heaters aren't burning liquid fuel, the fuel drawn up by the wick is heated by the metal wick guides, vaporized, and the vapors burn in a controlled environment. Fuel spilled elsewhere on the heater is a bomb.