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Old 02-15-2004, 07:01 AM   #1
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Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
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Close friends of mine just sent me the details of their harrowing experience, we can all learn from this!

About 3am my wife smelled smoke, she woke me up, we looked down the hallway
and could see a red glow thru the smoke near the dash. I slammed the
pocket door, bailed out the escape window, (8ft off the ground) my wife
tossed out my levies and tennies, I quickly dressed, ran around and got
the ladder out and set it up so she could get out. Meanwhile, she
opened the window on the other side of the bedroom for fresh air and
tossed more clothes out so we would have something to wear. Then I ran
around to open the entry door to reach the big fire extinguisher by the
co-pilot seat and I don't have a door key!!!! We came in for the evening
like we always do, locked the dead bolt and then hang up the MH keys on
this cute little brass key rack mounted on the end of the upper cabinet!
I had no coach door key and couldn't get in!!! All we could do is move
the car away a safe distance and watch it burn. What a helpless feeling.
As luck would have it, we had left the cell phone in the car the day
before when we were out sight seeing. Called 911, and by the time they
got there, it was well on its way. Things we learned are (1) Keep a MH
door key in the bedroom AND in the car, (2) Have a bedroom fire
extinguisher mounted on the wall in plain view where you see it everyday,
(3) Practice a fire drill and figure out if you can get out of the
bedroom escape window!! YOU NEVER THINK IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!! We are
making suggestions to the Fire Safety Officer, Mac McCoy and the Western
RV that Air shocks should be on the escape window to hold it open after
it is unlatched,(its a very heavy thermo pane window) and to come up with
some kind of a roll up rope ladder which one could keep in the closet by
the window to hook on the window ledge and roll down to get out with!
Its been a week and we still don't sleep well. Imagine if it had
happened 700 miles down in Mexico!!!
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Old 02-15-2004, 07:01 AM   #2
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Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Posts: 355
Close friends of mine just sent me the details of their harrowing experience, we can all learn from this!

About 3am my wife smelled smoke, she woke me up, we looked down the hallway
and could see a red glow thru the smoke near the dash. I slammed the
pocket door, bailed out the escape window, (8ft off the ground) my wife
tossed out my levies and tennies, I quickly dressed, ran around and got
the ladder out and set it up so she could get out. Meanwhile, she
opened the window on the other side of the bedroom for fresh air and
tossed more clothes out so we would have something to wear. Then I ran
around to open the entry door to reach the big fire extinguisher by the
co-pilot seat and I don't have a door key!!!! We came in for the evening
like we always do, locked the dead bolt and then hang up the MH keys on
this cute little brass key rack mounted on the end of the upper cabinet!
I had no coach door key and couldn't get in!!! All we could do is move
the car away a safe distance and watch it burn. What a helpless feeling.
As luck would have it, we had left the cell phone in the car the day
before when we were out sight seeing. Called 911, and by the time they
got there, it was well on its way. Things we learned are (1) Keep a MH
door key in the bedroom AND in the car, (2) Have a bedroom fire
extinguisher mounted on the wall in plain view where you see it everyday,
(3) Practice a fire drill and figure out if you can get out of the
bedroom escape window!! YOU NEVER THINK IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!! We are
making suggestions to the Fire Safety Officer, Mac McCoy and the Western
RV that Air shocks should be on the escape window to hold it open after
it is unlatched,(its a very heavy thermo pane window) and to come up with
some kind of a roll up rope ladder which one could keep in the closet by
the window to hook on the window ledge and roll down to get out with!
Its been a week and we still don't sleep well. Imagine if it had
happened 700 miles down in Mexico!!!
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Old 02-15-2004, 08:30 AM   #3
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Location: Oregon Woods
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Rope escape ladders are available at Sears. We have one in the second story bedroom of our home. Neither of us ever even thought about taking one in the coach, but that is indeed a very good idea. Ditto on the secondary fire extinguisher.

Was the source of the fire discovered?

Ghost
'02 Adventurer 32V Ford
Various Toads
Goofing off for a few months in the Sunny Arizona Desert
FMCA 300790.Good Sam.WIT.PCA-CVR. KOA, etc

I Have Not Yet Begun To Procrastinate
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Old 02-15-2004, 09:39 AM   #4
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Location: Ontario, CA USA
Posts: 1,294
I am sorry to hear about anyone having a disaster, at home or in the RV. But things do happen. Thank God on one was hurt on injured. I always hope it won't happen to me or to anyone else but you never know. Everyone must remember that you can replace almost everything, put you cannot replace life. You may lose your material memories and treasures, but you can always remember them in your heart. Your life is more important then the material memories and treasures. Save yourself and love ones first.

I put two more extinguishers inside the coach one in the bedroom and one in the kitchen, plus the one next to the front door. I also put two large extinguishers in the bays, one each side along with additional flashlights (HD Aluminum MAGLIGHTS) in the coach and bays. I also put extinguishers and flashlights in the tow vehicles. I did this because you never know when the excrement is going to hit the air oscillator. I hope and pray everyone will be safe while at home and in their travels.

Dave Fernandez
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Old 02-15-2004, 10:40 AM   #5
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Ghost

The source of the fire is still under investigation. It has been 10 days and our friends are still in shock over the incident. As soon as the insurance team is through and I hear the news, I will post the results.

I see you live near. This couple lives in the area also.

Danny
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Old 02-15-2004, 12:04 PM   #6
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I have a key ring (car and coach keys) clipped to the blind's "rope" by the side of the slide window in the bedroom - this is also our escape window. I keep my big fire extinguisher by the entry door and several small ones aroung the rig: in the bedroom, in a cabinet near the stove, in the dash area, in the car. They are all FOAM extinguishers!

Let me add, from personal experience, a fire story. I have told it before in other forums and in the Escapees magazine so, if you have read it before, you can save yourself some time - grin.

The point of this story is that the little red fire extinguishers which come with your RV are NOT enough!

I was in Quartzsite and when I came out of my RV, an RV across from me about 100 feet was on fire - flames coming our of the living room, driver's side window. 1 or 2 guys were spraying powder from their little red extinguishers and another 10 or so were on the ground having been emptied on the fire.

I grabbed by 1 gal FOAM extinguisher and a smaller FOAM extinguisher and ran over. Someone said, "It's no use - it is out of control.

By the time I had emptied my FOAM extinguisher on the fire, it was out! I had handed my small FOAM to someone who opened the door and was looking for hot spots. The firemen arrived and tore down the inside walls to make sure there were no remaining hot spots.

The fire had been contained to the couch/kitchen area. The owner retrieved her papers from the dash drawer and everything in the roof pod, closets, and basement storage areas was saved. The coach was even said to be drivable. I don't know as I left before insurance folks got there and anybody tested this statement.

I had purchased my FOAM extinguishers from Mac at an Escapade earlier that year. His demonstrations had convinced me that the standard powder extinguishers might be OK for fires before they became larger but..... I convinced myself that he was right that day in Quartzsite. One advantage of the foam is that it cools the source of the fire preventing flair ups.

Mac McCoy sells the HAWK brand of extinguishers and the number he listed on my extinguishers is 503-393-1937. My extinguishers are now about 4 years old but you could also find him in RVIA site:

http://www.rvaa.com/fire.php3

I have no affiliation with RVIA or Mac but I URGE you to replace your existing power extinguisher! I assume that other brands of foam extinguishers also work as well but I simply don't know enough about the properties of foam to know if they are all equal.

Jane
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Old 02-17-2004, 07:03 AM   #7
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Motorhome fires can be devastating. I have written an article for Bus Conversions Magazine (March 2004 issue). I have also posted the text of the article at:

http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/serv01.htm

After I wrote this article, I ran across an excellent article published at:

http://www.rvaa.com/springwebflash2003.php

Mac's article contains similar information to the article I wrote. I am publishing links to both articles since they are very important to RV owners indeed the general public.

I strongly agree with the previous posts that ordinary dry chemical extinguishers are very limited in fire fighting capability.

The new surfactant extinguishers (often equated to foam extinguishers and discussed in detail in the Bus Conversions article) are far superior to most systems and can be owner maintained. For more information on these extinguishers, see:

http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/prod01.htm

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
'85 Eagle 10 Bus Conversion
http://rvsafetysystems.com
Looking for Beta testers: http://rvsafetysystems.com/prod03.htm
Bus Project details: http://www.rvsafetysystems.com/busproject.htm
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Old 02-17-2004, 04:49 PM   #8
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Jim - the rvsafetysystems links don't work for me - never could find your article. Would like to read it.

Jane
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:12 PM   #9
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Jane, I tested the links from my machine and they seem to work. I will try them from my wife's computer and see if they work. You might want to try a copy and paste to see if that works.

Jim Shepherd
http://rvsafetysystems.com/
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Old 03-03-2004, 07:18 PM   #10
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Is there anymore information on the cause of the fire yet?
Harry Thorn
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:24 PM   #11
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It has been over a year since I asked the question, "Does anyone know the cause of the fire" but have not had an answer, so I will ask again.
Does anyone know the cause of the fire??
Later ...Harry...
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:59 PM   #12
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Harry

I talked to Ron Doyle at length in Quartzite this January and he said they could not determined a cause and the case is for the most part closed. It would only be speculation by anyone to try and guess what happen. We may never know.

Danny
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