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Old 03-11-2010, 07:47 PM   #1
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Bummer, but coulda been worse!

First of all, the Fire Dept. has gone and no-one was hurt. Late this afternoon my wife looked out the window and said, 'There's smoke coming from that motorhome!' I grabbed my Fire extinguisher and ran to the RV hollering to my neighbor to grab his and follow me. A 2004 Monaco Diplomat a row behind us had dark black smoke pouring from his Fridge roof vent. My partner Tom worked to get the outside Fridge cover off while I unplugged the 50amp service. Someone else was banging on the locked front door, but no one was home. After emptying two extinguishers into the back of the refrigerator the roaring flume fire dropped off and we were able to open the propane bay to shut off the gas. The RV next to the Dip had a twentyfive foot hose curled up next to the water bib so we grabbed it and started forcing water up the fridge flume. Another neighbor climbed on the roof and, after kicking off the melted cover, used the water hose to force water down the flume. By the time the Fire Dept arrived the fire was mostly out and they worked to extinguish the remaining embers. The Firemen broke the front door window to open the locked door and went about opening all the coach windows. They then placed a powerful gas powered fan blowing in the front door to empty the RV of all the remaining smoke from the inside, which was plenty! They spent a lot of time fishing melted insulation out of the flume while checking with a handheld thermal indicator to make sure there were no more hot spots. The owners arrived about an hour later and were very grateful that their RV was saved. Elinor, the manager of the Thousand Trails Park here in Peace River Florida, donated the use of one of the Parks rentals for the burned out RV'ers use because they were obviously unable to sleep in their Coach. The owners said their refrigerator was a four door Norcold and that they checked the serial numbers to make sure it didn't have a safety recall on it just a few weeks previous. No idea what started the fire though it was definitely a fridge fire. All in all, what could have been a disaster turned out to be a save. A lot of good neighbors working together to help one of their own.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:05 PM   #2
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Great job Denny!

You did your good deed for the day!
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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Great Job to you and those that helped. This just reinforces what I always say. Campers Are the Nicest People on Earth
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:44 PM   #4
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Denny, good for you, and your wife's sharp eyes.

One more favor you can do the owner is to tell them to all Norcold again, lodge a complaint and ask Norcold to pay for the damage. If Norcold refuses, they should file a complaint with the Federal Department of Transportation. If enough complaints get filed, there may be a forced recall of Norcold fridges. No doubt it was a 4-door 1200LRM.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:05 PM   #5
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Denny and Nancy. It's sure good to hear that there are wonderful helpful people like yourselves out there. I'm glad to hear no one was hurt and I know that the good deed will be returned someday.

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Old 03-11-2010, 10:29 PM   #6
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:44 AM   #7
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Good job and quick thinking on you and your wifes behalf. I agree with others that campers are the best.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:29 AM   #8
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Great job on helping 1 another out
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Old 03-12-2010, 11:04 AM   #9
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Good job folks. I think we'd all try to do our best to help in a similar situation.

It does seem you can read about these Norcold fridge fires weekly. I am waiting now for the most recent recall work. I have installed a halon automatic fire suppression unit in my fridge compartment, hoping to never need it but wanting the protection just in case.

How hard was it for the FD to break into the coach door? I ask because we have two dogs and leave a sign in the door to 'please rescue them in an emergency.' We never deadblot the door when they are left alone in the coach but do lock the handle. I've often wondered if the average RV'r could break into the door with a large screwdriver or other similar prying instrument.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:28 PM   #10
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Actually it was fairly simple to get into the coach, if you don't mind the front door window being broke out. The Fireman just reached through the window, tore the screen and unlocked the deadbolt. Keeping the deadbolt unlocked is a good idea if you have pets. There were a number of people with their own Monaco keys that tried the door lock and one persons even worked. As a past RV Repair Business owner out of Fairbanks, we still carry with us a complete set of door keys to help other folks when they get locked out. We've used them a coupla times for that.

Another interesting tidbit from yesterday. When we returned the water hose to the folks that let us use it, they seemed pretty excited. Seems that in their travels across the US, they're from Germany, they've gotten in the habit of leaving a hose hooked up outside their RV to put out a fire if they ever had one. Cool idea!

A question to those in the know. As our Fire Extinguisher is now empty and we need to replace it, what is the reccomended type and size we should get? I was shocked at how quick our lil' 4lb emptied. and would like to get a bigger/better one.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:16 PM   #11
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Denny,

Check here Fire and Life Safety. I went to his seminar at an FMCA rally.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:22 PM   #12
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Only source we've used for initial purchase is from "Mac the Fire Guy" who normally is at all large rallies. Assume it's got a website also. Good work!
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:55 PM   #13
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You may want to try a min of 8BC. Get two of'em
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:25 PM   #14
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I hope the RV owner doesn't forget to replace your fire extenguisher and a dinner for two would be nice.
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