Home destroyed by electrical fire
A malfunction in a tankless electric water heater caused a fire
Thursday that destroyed a Niu Valley home, firefighters have
Honolulu Fire Department inspectors found the origin of the blaze in a
crawl space under the home at 440 Puamamane St., according to Capt.
Damage was estimated at $300,000 to the wooden building and $50,000 to
Kamehameha Schools trustee Nainoa Thompson and his wife, Kathy Muneno,
lived in the house but were not home at the time.
Water Heater Fires
According to the Consumers Product Safety Commission, fires
involving gas water heaters result in 316 injuries and 17 deaths
per year. A gas water heater can be located in a garage or
utility room where it draws in combustion air near ground level.
If a hydrocarbon such as gasoline is spilled in the vicinity of
the water heater, a fire is extremely likely.
That is why I like my tankless mounted way up on the wall at
about eye level. Not to mention outside the house entirely.
S. Barker wrote:
> Not likely, if even possible.
Unfortunately there is no vaccine for stupid.
Back in the mid eighties a school board plumber was trying to get a
regular water heater to produce water hot enough to meet the specs for
the cafeteria's new dish washer. He forced the heat setting past it's
limit stop and when the Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) Valve began
venting he started over by replacing it with a pipe plug. When live
steam began coming out of the kitchen taps one of the cooks began
shouting for everyone to leave. He was a navy veteran and had a healthy
respect for the power of live steam. His warning was too late. Too
teachers and several students were killed in the resulting Boiling
Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion or B.L.E.V.E. It blew the concrete
block wall that divided the kitchen from the cafeteria in onto the
teachers and students. The response effort was written up in Fire
Command Magazine. If I remember correctly the incident occurred in Ohio
There was a similar incident in the mid nineties involving a restaurant
in Florida I think. In that case the water heater did go through the
roof of the strip center were the restaurant was located. I don't
remember if that BLEVE caused any deaths. I think that one was written
up in Fire Engineering.
Well we aren\'t no thin blue heroes but we aren\'t no blackguards to.
The article did not go into detail as to whether the fire was the result
of a manufacturing defect, improper installation, or improper usage.
Many a house has burned to the ground from a frayed appliance cord.
Electricity is perfectly safe when properly used.
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