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Michigan siblings killed in gasoline-soaked bonfire explosion
Mlive.com ^ | August 20, 2012 | Jonathan Oosting

Posted on 08/20/2012 5:05:06 PM PDT by cripplecreek

Michigan siblings killed in gasoline-soaked bonfire explosion at high school graduation party

A celebration ended in sadness Saturday night in St. Clair Township, when recent high school graduate Savannah Blewett and her older brother died in a large bonfire explosion.

St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon said in a release that 27-year-old Christopher Blewett poured a large amount of gasoline on a two-story pile of wood in his backyard and, according to witnesses, invited his sister to light it on fire.

When she did, the gasoline exploded, scattering wood up to 100 yards and blowing out windows in the back of the house, located on the 6500 block of Gratiot Road.

The siblings were killed in the explosion, and three others were treated for undisclosed injuries at local hospitals.

A neighbor called authorities shortly after 9:30 p.m., prompting responses from sheriff's deputies, local police officers and at least three local fire departments.

Donnellon said alcohol was served at the party, but there was no indication that minors were drinking.

A man staying in a campground nearby told television station WXYZ that the explosion shook his RV and described the sound as a "sonic boom."

The Blewett family chose not to speak about their loss on camera, but well-wishers have been offering condolences on a Facebook page set up to remember Savannah and Christopher.

"You lost your lives in an accident that should never have happened," reads a message on the page. "We will all love and miss you dearly."

The weekend bonfire explosion occurred just weeks after a similar incident in West Michigan, where seven teenagers were injured after dousing a large brush pile with gasoline and setting it on fire.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: 87octane87iq; alcohol; blewett; darwinaward; explosion; fire; gasoline; michigan; napl; stclaire; tragic
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Video at site.

I grew up doing stupid crap like this but it seems like kids today have zero concept of the physics involved in everyday life.

1 posted on 08/20/2012 5:05:14 PM PDT by cripplecreek
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To: cripplecreek

The stupid, it burns!

Literally, in this case.


2 posted on 08/20/2012 5:10:35 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Springman; cyclotic; netmilsmom; RatsDawg; PGalt; FreedomHammer; queenkathy; madison10; ...
Teach your children well.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
3 posted on 08/20/2012 5:10:57 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek

A few years ago, a local man almost killed himself lighting a brush pile, as the vapors ignited....and the flames went into his mouth and lungs!

I think our modern lifestyle leads us to forget that some things are actually dangerous. Everything has a warning label on it...so nobody pays attention to any warning labels...and somehow we are slowly losing common sense.


4 posted on 08/20/2012 5:12:12 PM PDT by lacrew (Mr. Soetoro, we regret to inform you that your race card is over the credit limit.)
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To: cripplecreek

The sidings were not the sharpest tools in the shed or what ever may be left of their shed.


5 posted on 08/20/2012 5:13:35 PM PDT by Uncle Slayton
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To: Spktyr

We used to have bonfires of 8 foot logs after soaking them in 15 or 20 gallons of gas but we expected an explosion and lit them with roman candles from a considerable distance.

In this case it sounds like it was pallets which means air spaces.


6 posted on 08/20/2012 5:15:08 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: lacrew

I know a guy that soaked his outhouse with gasoline and lit it. Kaboom. . . I bet you can’t guess what happened + the guy was transported to the hospital for treatment. You probably guessed it. . . he had been drinking quite heavily.


7 posted on 08/20/2012 5:17:47 PM PDT by mia
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To: cripplecreek
at least the idiot that fueled the fire went too...

8 posted on 08/20/2012 5:18:07 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: cripplecreek
When she did, the gasoline exploded, scattering wood up to 100 yards and blowing out windows in the back of the house, located on the 6500 block of Gratiot Road.

Most people do not understand that gasoline vapor mixed with air is a fuel-air bomb waiting for a spark to set it off. One gallon of gasoline (vaporized and mixed with the correct amount of air) has the explosive force of about 70 lbs of TNT.

Play with it incompetently, and it can ruin your whole day...

9 posted on 08/20/2012 5:18:30 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (A deep-fried storm is coming, Mr Obama.)
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To: lacrew

We pre computer paleo humans spent a lot more of our formative years experiencing the world and discovering how things worked.


10 posted on 08/20/2012 5:19:21 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: cripplecreek

They probably think: a burning liquid, what’s the big deal??

Without being aware of the cloud of fumes that are also involved.

Well the Blewitts, they blew it. Literally.


11 posted on 08/20/2012 5:19:23 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew (or is that lou?))
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To: cripplecreek

An explosion that throws wood a 100 yards...

What kind of dumbass puts that much gasoline on a woodpile ?

It must have been several gallons at least


12 posted on 08/20/2012 5:20:23 PM PDT by Popman (In a place you only dream of Where your soul is always free)
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To: mia

Some people just don’t understand how well gasoline burns. Not just a little better than kerosene; a HELL of a lot better.

A can of gasoline is like a stick of dynamite under the right conditions.


13 posted on 08/20/2012 5:22:41 PM PDT by DarrellZero
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To: Popman

The kaboom power comes from the vapors, not the liquid. Not all that much would be needed, in an ideal scenario. This is how bunker buster bombs work. They spray out an easily vaporizing liquid, something that is like the lighter fractions of gasoline, then light it.


14 posted on 08/20/2012 5:24:03 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew (or is that lou?))
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To: cripplecreek

God rest their souls. Having survived more stupid stunts than I can count I will not judge them.


15 posted on 08/20/2012 5:25:54 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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To: HiTech RedNeck

If this was pallets that would provide lots of handy combustion/compression chambers just like an engine.


16 posted on 08/20/2012 5:26:31 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
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To: DarrellZero

In fact, unless at its flash point, about 130 degrees F, kerosene does not burn at all. A wick is needed even to keep a flame going. Sufficiently hot kerosene would generate explosive fumes like gasoline at room temperature does.


17 posted on 08/20/2012 5:26:58 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew (or is that lou?))
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To: cripplecreek
In this case it sounds like it was pallets which means air spaces.

Air spaces which would act to contain and confine the gasoline vapor, instead of the vapor dispersing into a less-harmful rising fireball.

18 posted on 08/20/2012 5:29:11 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (A deep-fried storm is coming, Mr Obama.)
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To: cripplecreek

Yup, any loosely stacked wood would provide ample space for an explosive gas-air mixture to form.


19 posted on 08/20/2012 5:29:15 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew (or is that lou?))
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To: Spktyr
"Now, THAT'S a fire!"

-Eddie Murphy

20 posted on 08/20/2012 5:31:08 PM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Not-A-Ping....


21 posted on 08/20/2012 5:33:37 PM PDT by The SISU kid (I think they taste like Barbie dolls smell.)
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To: cripplecreek

Nothing like a FAE (Fuel Air Explosive) Bomb to loosen up the neighborhood. Bet it took care of the gophers in the backyard!


22 posted on 08/20/2012 5:34:08 PM PDT by TaMoDee ( Lassez les bons temps rouler dans les 2012! Allez Pack!)
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To: cripplecreek

Despite regular warnings from fire departments about the dangers of using gasoline as an accelerant, people choose to ignore the dangers and continue to do so...

Gasoline is an extremely energy-dense flammable liquid motor fuel...It has no other real purpose...Yes it can and has been used as a solvent, and as an accelerant for recreational fires, but doing so often comes with tragic outcome...

Gasoline poured in the open air evaporates and mixes with air rapidly...It is this volatility that makes it such a good motor fuel...A vapor cloud is formed...If lighting conditions are right, the shadow of the vapor cloud can be seen...

Somewhere within this cloud the fuel/air mix is within the flammable range, neither too rich nor too lean to burn, and if an ignition source is introduced, combustion is explosive...One gallon of regular gasoline has the explosive energy of 85 pounds of dynamite!

And if the person introducing the ignition source is standing within the vapor cloud when it ignites, he is toast...Literally...

It was once common for fire departments to use gasoline to ignite training burns...Too many firefighters were horribly burned or killed before the practice was curtailed for obvious reasons...It is an extremely unsafe practice...

Seems crazy things like this have to occur on a periodic basis so people learn a lesson...A wise man observes and learns from the mistakes of others...Some folks, sadly, will never learn...

RIP...


23 posted on 08/20/2012 5:39:17 PM PDT by elteemike (Light travels faster than sound...That's why so many people appear bright until you hear them speak!)
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To: Uncle Slayton
The sidings were not the sharpest tools in the shed or what ever may be left of their shed.

Technically you're right. But as others have pointed out in various ways, today’s youth has no experience with dangerous material.

You and I would never even consider for a second doing what these kids did. With zero experience to guide them, they didn't have reason to give it a second thought.

24 posted on 08/20/2012 5:40:51 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: lacrew

Stories like this confirm my decision to move from our beautiful house in a nice subdivision to the country. I thought a hobby farm with a big garden/orchard would be a great environment to raise my children. With an uncertain future in mind, we wanted them to learn how to fend for themselves.

I am very sad for these parents, but I am not surprised by tragedies like this. We have raised an entire generation that thinks children riding in the bed of a pickup constitutes child abuse. Sigh.


25 posted on 08/20/2012 5:49:01 PM PDT by volunbeer (Don't worry America, our kids will pay for it!)
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To: elteemike
Gasoline is an extremely energy-dense flammable liquid motor fuel...It has no other real purpose..

Don't tell the EPA but it's my favorite yellow jacket nest killer.

A quart or less to soak it up--after the vapor dissipate the skunks come in and do the rest.

26 posted on 08/20/2012 5:49:43 PM PDT by lightman (Settling for the "lesser of two..." is still choosing Evil)
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To: cripplecreek

I use paint thinner to light my bonfires. I don’t use that much, but you still get the swoosh -boom effect when you light it. Even with a small amount, I know to light and get away quickly. We got a nutjob living next door who stole one of my unopened gallon containers of paint thinner. She lit a bonfire in her backyard then threw the whole gallon container in the fire. Quite an explosion. It’s a wonder the whole neighborhood didn’t go up in flames as buildings here are pretty close together.


27 posted on 08/20/2012 5:52:11 PM PDT by virgil
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To: FreedomNotSafety
Having survived more stupid stunts than I can count I will not judge them.

I've done stupid things as a kid, but these were more or less adults. One of the things I did as a kid was to put cartridges into holes in boards, place the boards over a fire in a barrel, and watch the bullets pop. That's just one thing. Lucky I survived childhood.

28 posted on 08/20/2012 5:54:35 PM PDT by roadcat
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To: cripplecreek

Well, they didn’t follow the first rule of bonfire safety: light the bonfire first, THEN pour on the gasoline.


29 posted on 08/20/2012 6:04:51 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: SIDENET
“Now, THAT'S a fire!”

-Eddie Murphy

Nahh This is a FIRE!

-Beldar Conehead
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXkFgmQ2O-Q

30 posted on 08/20/2012 6:08:57 PM PDT by Polynikes (Hakkaa Palle)
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To: lightman

When I was a kid, an exterminator killed the wasp nest on our house with gasoline... except he did it by clipping the nest off, taking it out to the street, dousing it, and burning it. I don’t know if that was quite legal even back then, but I’m sure they can’t get away with it anymore.


31 posted on 08/20/2012 6:16:52 PM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

Heh...the joys of living in a remote undisclosed location!


32 posted on 08/20/2012 6:27:59 PM PDT by lightman (Settling for the "lesser of two..." is still choosing Evil)
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To: cripplecreek

Has anyone considered how ironic their name is Blewett?

It is similar to other events as such as bobbit having something cut off....


33 posted on 08/20/2012 6:36:41 PM PDT by Stymee (Father of 8)
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To: cripplecreek

One more reason for Obama to ban gasoline. Not only does it run those damn polluting cars, it kills children.


34 posted on 08/20/2012 6:39:52 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: lightman

Gasoline is what we’re using to kill wasp nests up in the top

tiers hanging tobacco.You hand the jar to the next man higher

up and hope his aim is good....got a good crew this year

Heck,gas isn’t any good to start a fire anyway

Youth is wasted on the young


35 posted on 08/20/2012 6:49:45 PM PDT by Harold Shea (RVN `70 - `71)
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To: lacrew
I think our modern lifestyle leads us to forget that some things are actually dangerous. Everything has a warning label on it...so nobody pays attention to any warning labels...and somehow we are slowly losing common sense.

As Thomas Sowell noted

When I saw signs in Yellowstone National Park warning visitors not to get too close to a buffalo, I realized that this was a warning that no illiterate farmer of a bygone century would have needed. No one would have had to tell him not to mess with a huge animal that literally weighs a ton, and can charge at you at 30 miles an hour.

36 posted on 08/20/2012 6:57:06 PM PDT by ALPAPilot
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To: cripplecreek

We need to ban fire.


37 posted on 08/20/2012 7:01:44 PM PDT by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
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To: Popman
What kind of dumbass puts that much gasoline on a woodpile ?

At today's prices? A dumbass with more dollars than sense!

38 posted on 08/20/2012 7:02:45 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse (If there is a war on women, the Kennedys are the Spec Ops troops.)
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To: cripplecreek

Best fire starter is corn oil and sawdust. Mix it right, put a small pile (baseball) in the middle, make a trail to the outside of the pile. Stack wood / trash around and over the top of the starter pile. Light and watch from a safe distance.


39 posted on 08/20/2012 7:05:01 PM PDT by taxcontrol
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To: taxcontrol

Another good one is wax and saw dust. You melt the wax and mix in the saw dust.


40 posted on 08/20/2012 7:34:54 PM PDT by JimC214
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To: The SISU kid; MeekOneGOP; Conspiracy Guy; DocRock; King Prout; Darksheare; OSHA; martin_fierro; ...
Heinlein got it right again. Poor bastards.


41 posted on 08/20/2012 7:36:46 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
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To: Slings and Arrows


42 posted on 08/20/2012 7:48:52 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: Slings and Arrows


43 posted on 08/20/2012 7:51:19 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: BartMan1; Nailbiter

ping


44 posted on 08/20/2012 8:26:21 PM PDT by IncPen (Educating Barack Obama has been the most expensive project in human history)
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To: cripplecreek

I think the problem here is that it was two stories high, I’m guessing that’s what, 25-30 feet?. They created one huge cavity that just kept who knows how many cubic feet of vapor trapped inside. We built bonfires with soaked wood too, but all we got were some big wooshes. Not once did our bonfire ever blow up and scatter over 100 square yards. That’s a helluva big boom.


45 posted on 08/20/2012 9:20:50 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: JimC214

Try magnesium and wax. Now that’s fun. Just don’t say you heard it from me.


46 posted on 08/20/2012 9:22:33 PM PDT by Melas (u)
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To: Harold Shea
Heck,gas isn’t any good to start a fire anyway

Agreed. The problem with gasoline is that it burns out before the wood catches. Kerosene or parrafin is better because it burns long enough to dry out the fuel.

47 posted on 08/20/2012 9:32:21 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: JimC214

The firestarter sticks they sell at Wal-Mart and Canadian tire are wax & sawdust. If the wood is really damp, magnesium flakes do the trick.


48 posted on 08/20/2012 9:35:05 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: shibumi

Build a man a fire and he’s warm for the night. Set a man on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life.


49 posted on 08/20/2012 9:36:33 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (Tories in- now the REAL work begins!)
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To: cripplecreek

poor kids...I hope it was instantaneous & without suffering.

Prayers for the family.
What a terrible shock - many sad days ahead


50 posted on 08/20/2012 9:42:34 PM PDT by Scotswife
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