Now that was stupid

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r2 builders

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Sep 12, 2016
Escondido , California
Make sure all the gas has dissipated from your smoker chamber before igniting.
Getting ready for a smoke I started heating the chamber to get to temp.
After a bit I noticed the temp was dropping .
Opened the lower door and saw the flame had gone out so I hit the ignitor that's when I got hit by a fireball.
It hit my hand and singed my hair and eyebrows.
Obviously the chamber was still full of residual gas.
So all, remember to make sure all the gas in your chamber has dissipated before igniting.
My hand looks worse than it feels.
Man killed when meat smoker explodes

Colleen Kottke, The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter 4:49 p.m. EST December 15, 2014

(Photo: The (Fond du Lac, Wis.) Reporter)

TOWN of LAMARTINE, Wis. — A Wisconsin man using a homemade meat smoker to cook turkeys and chickens died when the smoker exploded, police said.

Richard L. Zabel, 55, was found dead Saturday afternoon inside a machine shed.

"The North Fond du Lac Ambulance and Lamartine first responders were called to the scene for the initial report that someone had fallen," said Lt. Cameron McGee of the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office. "When investigators arrived on scene, they discovered that a 55-year-old man was dead inside the building."

Zabel, a town of Lamartine man, did not live at the building's location, but lived nearby.

"Evidence indicates that the flame on the LP burner went out and as a result the gas continued to accumulate inside the smoker," McGee said. "And when (Zabel) went to relight the burner, the spark from the lighter caused the gas to explode."

McGee said the force of the explosion caused the heavy duty door of the smoker to blow open, striking Zabel in the head, killing him instantly.

"When something explodes, it's going to blow open at the weakest point which was the door, which was triple-latched," McGee said.

McGee said the smoker was larger and better constructed than most store-bought models.

"It was about 4-feet tall and about 3-feet wide and built really solid, including the door. Someone really put a lot of thought into building this thing," McGee said. "We were told that they had been using it for the past three years without any problems."

The Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.