I cooked myself... [Qview]

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by buck futta, May 23, 2010.

  1. 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. [​IMG]

    *Edit - Added a spoiler window, so dramatic! [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  2. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    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.
  3. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    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.
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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...[​IMG]
  5. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    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.
  6. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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.
  7. 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!
  8. treegje

    treegje Master of the Pit

    I feel for you, it could have been worse
    and a fast recovery wished
  9. hookup

    hookup Smoke Blower

    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.
  10. insight

    insight Meat Mopper

    I hope they gave you Silvadene cream or equivalent. Hang in their, brother!
  11. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    Wishing you the fastes recovery! BTW beer and moderation should not be allowed in the same sentence!
  12. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Glad to hear it wasnt worse. I hope you have a fast recovery man.
  13. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    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.

  15. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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! [​IMG]
  16. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    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.
  17. brokenwing

    brokenwing Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    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.
  18. 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.
  19. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    wow, well at least your taking it the right way, I hope you heal fast
  20. Wow a wish for a speedy recovery,ouch. Burns are the worst .Bill

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