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I cooked myself... [Qview]

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

I had a bad accident with my smoker this last Wednesday.

What happened was the charcoal went out after just lighting, which is fairly common with the way the firebox on my smoker is setup. We have often resolved this by spraying a little more fluid inside and re-lighting without issue. This time, for some reason(I’m thinking had to be the cheap-o Hy-Vee brand Charcoal Lighter Fluid) it instantly vaporized and shot out a four foot wide six foot tall fireball. I know you’re thinking “you should be careful when re-lighting charcoal”, and I can tell you that we were. But I have never seen that much fire come from such a small amount of accelerant.

Anyways, aside from the second-degree burns on my arms I’m doing okay, I’m very lucky to not have burned my face. I also live just a few blocks from Bergan Mercy and my friend immediately rushed me to the emergency room. They setup an appointment with the Burn Unit at Clarkson Med Center on Friday and I’ll say that was nearly as painful as the burn itself. The burn spe******t ripped all the blisters off and scrubbed it thoroughly and I get to clean it myself a few times a day until my next appointment.

All in all, I guess it’s a life lesson better learned than experienced. I know I’m not doing that again. I hope no one here ever has to go through what I am.

These pictures serve as an example to use extreme caution when cooking with charcoal. Sorry in advance if you are easily grossed out or offended in any way. PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif

*Edit - Added a spoiler window, so dramatic!


Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Cooked Myself(4)[small].JPG

Cooked Myself(3)[small].JPG

Edited by Buck Futta - 7/22/10 at 12:42am
post #2 of 48
Holy chit man, glad you're going to be OK. I NEVER use lighter fluid and never will. Nice to hear you're not ever going to try that chit again, be careful bud.
post #3 of 48
WOW....you are lucky -- which I know may be hard to think given those burns and the pain you must have been in. We hear about these things all the time. Sorry that it happened to you.

Here's to a speedy recovery, and hopes you get back to smokin soon.
post #4 of 48
If you want a safe way to start charcoal get a propane torch used to burn weeds and it works great... Glad you are okay...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #5 of 48
Da..... it man I feel for you I know those burns hurt and the treatment is worse. Glad to read it was not worse although it was bad enough. Hope you recover quickly and with no complications. Never use lighter fluid get a chimney or a weed burner.
Thanks for sharing your story hopefully it will save someone from doing the same thing.
post #6 of 48
Holy Cow!!!

Thats a bad bad deal. I hope all comes out well with the healing process. Like you said, luck was on your side with not burning your face.

I had a buddy that had an experience near yours, just not quite as bad.
He for what ever reason put match-lite charcoal in the chimney and went to light it. Well the lighter was out so he went in the house in search of another lighter. When he returned after being distracted for about 15 minutes he held the lighter to the vent holes to start the newspaper. Then a jet engine flame the size of the chimney erupted near 6 feet high.
Thank goodness none of them were hurt.

I wonder if your deal was similar in a sort of way. Maybe when the fire went out there was enough lighter fluid to cause a gas cloud in the fire box. And the new stream upset the coals enough to light up.

Thinking about my drum being as air tight as it is, its no wonder we don't hear about back draft fires.

This could sound bad but I think I have heard that beer promotes the healing of burns. LOL its probably not so much the beer itself but more whats in the beer that helps. Its a good excuse tho.
post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support, it really is appreciated. I think the worst part is waking up in the morning, by then the painkillers have worn off and the burn cream is drying up and needs to be re-applied. Excruciating pain is the only way I can describe it.

I just hope that by early June I can be somewhat back to normal. It is summer time, and I have singlehandedly prevented myself from swimming and many other outdoor activities.

That's an interesting theory Tom37, I can't say much for the healing factor yet but I can attest for the slight painkilling effect of delicious beer(in moderation of coarse). Once again thanks for the support everyone! I hope to be back on the grill soon!
post #8 of 48
I feel for you, it could have been worse
and a fast recovery wished
post #9 of 48
Ouch - that just looks painful.

Had my beer googgles on and blew up a Weber once using denatured alcohol when we ran out of lighter fluid, but luckily no one was hurt.
post #10 of 48
I hope they gave you Silvadene cream or equivalent. Hang in their, brother!
post #11 of 48
Wishing you the fastes recovery! BTW beer and moderation should not be allowed in the same sentence!
post #12 of 48
Glad to hear it wasnt worse. I hope you have a fast recovery man.
post #13 of 48
That is awful man - sorry to hear about your misfortune but glad to hear it was not more serious - Lighter fluid is deadly - Good luck and heal quickly
post #14 of 48
Aye-Yaye-Yaye. That doesn't look like much fun!!!

I used to squirt lighter fluid, until I got my starter chimney.

Thanks for showing this as a reminder to us all what can happen in less than a second. So glad you're alright---physically anyway.

post #15 of 48
Ouch! I feel for you, I have had 2nd & 3rd degree burns twice in my life and they really do hurt like hell.

Get yourself a chimney starter. Put two pieces of newspaper in bottom, fill top with charcoal, and light paper. Coals ready to dump into firebox in 15 min. No lighter fluid needed, cheaper, safer, and doesn't make you meat taste like lighter fluid.

I haven't bought lighter fluid in 20 years! biggrin.gif
post #16 of 48
HOLY POOP There man you did it well didn't you. I know that they hurt worst then it looks and it don't look good. Now maybe you should teach everyone here to be careful with re-lighting or lighting charcoal with fluid. Next time don't buy a chimney or like most are saying here a torch or weed burner (big Torch) and light them things with them and you will be feet away.
post #17 of 48
Wow you tank care of yourself, my thoughts are with you. 5 years ago I got hurt pretty bad when a oil furnace blew up in my face. I can only imagine what your going through. My thoughts are with you.
post #18 of 48
Thread Starter 
Yup, a huge 400 gram jar of the stuff. I'm supposed to clean it and re-apply it at least twice a day. Which I'm doing at least every six hours.

Crappy thing is we have a chimney and I foresee that we will be using it much more from now on.
post #19 of 48
wow, well at least your taking it the right way, I hope you heal fast
post #20 of 48
Wow a wish for a speedy recovery,ouch. Burns are the worst .Bill
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