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Old 05-28-2014, 07:22 PM   #1
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Motor Compartment Fire on I8

This sucks,
Had a fire in the engine compartment. I managed to extinguish it before it got out of hand. Now we are sitting in a Quality Inn in El Cajon and the rig will be at Cummins in the morning.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:29 PM   #2
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Any idea what caused the fire?
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:40 PM   #3
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Can you provide some details about the fire? How did you notice it, what caused it, what type extinguisher used to fight it.

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phinneyj View Post
This sucks,
Had a fire in the engine compartment. I managed to extinguish it before it got out of hand. Now we are sitting in a Quality Inn in El Cajon and the rig will be at Cummins in the morning.
Sorry to hear of your misfortune, however, it would seem that the right person had the fire and likely your skills saved the situation from getting worse.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:14 PM   #5
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Trying to finally get settled down. Had to run to the Walmart for basics that I left in the rig.

We had just pulled out of Jacumba and was headed west to San Diego for the rest of the weekend. We started to smell a cordite like smell. I was thinking that a truck or car in front of us was fouling the air. My wife looked to the back and started yelling about smoke. I initiated a rapid deceleration and pulled off the side of the highway. The dogs were in the back in a kennel. First get the dogs out. I grab the computer, ID and office binder and head out. I grab the little white dry chem bottle and head to the rear. Pop the back open, (Rear PAC) so I push the rubber flap up and viola' a BBQ. The compartment is fully involved but still contained in the engine compartment. Holding the flap up with my left (bare) hand I started dumping agent and sweeping. Now I can't see. After about a 3 or 4 second dump I back out. Hand hurts I can't see. I yell at wife to get in the car so we at least have a lifeboat and start disconnecting it. We need practice. Back to the fire. Open the flap, see flames, empty extinguisher and hope for best, sweep and drop the flap. Now I resist yanking my left hand back so I can get more agent in. Bottle emptied, flames out. Hand hurts. Fire shows up about 25 minutes later. Off duty SD cop stopped and dropped a white dry chem bottle if I needed it.

Aftermath: Rig was towed to the Kenworth shop in El Cajon. They are sending it to Cummins in the morning. Gonna be some work figuring it out and getting it back on the road. Don't know the hows yet, hopefully I will know more tomorrow. Wife and Dogs are good. I am just trying to wind down and figure my next steps. Looks like we will stick around SD till Sunday or not and then drive the Dingy back home in the Sacramento area.

Holding my hand in the fire longer resulted in 2nd degree burns. I got some pretty gnarly blisters and I do not relish the rebound pain down the road, that and a 10+ hour run north without my rig. Hopefully I get it back on the road soon...
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:26 PM   #6
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Sounds like your experience made the difference in your rig not going up in a fireball. Always had an extinguisher system in the racecar. Maybe I should think about one for the MH.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:33 PM   #7
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Sounds like your experience made the difference in your rig not going up in a fireball. Always had an extinguisher system in the racecar. Maybe I should think about one for the MH.
So sad to hear about. Definitely the fire picked the wrong "victim" in this case.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:46 PM   #8
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Looks like my mind is made up and Mac is gonna get some of my business.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:03 PM   #9
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Glad everyone is ok and pups too. I know the burns hurt, but for sure you saved the motorhome. Good thinking and acting on your part. Hope you get her back soon.

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Old 05-28-2014, 11:05 PM   #10
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Sounds like your experience made the difference in your rig not going up in a fireball. Always had an extinguisher system in the racecar. Maybe I should think about one for the MH.
I had been meaning to upgrade the fire bottle. Now I will, and I am going to install a halon system in the engine compartment with an alert system for the dash. I am fairly certain that had I done so in the first place damage would have been negligible and I would be on the road in a few days. As it was, the fire had time to do damage and the Dry chem I dumped in there needs to be removed thoroughly or else more problems down the road.

I am thankful for saving the rig. Not sure how much yet....
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:03 AM   #11
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How much Halon do you think, a 10 lb bottle?
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by phinneyj View Post
I had been meaning to upgrade the fire bottle. Now I will, and I am going to install a halon system in the engine compartment with an alert system for the dash. I am fairly certain that had I done so in the first place damage would have been negligible and I would be on the road in a few days. As it was, the fire had time to do damage and the Dry chem I dumped in there needs to be removed thoroughly or else more problems down the road.



I am thankful for saving the rig. Not sure how much yet....

I researched this topic several years ago. Halon is not the way to go in the engine compartment. Way too much air movement & not an enclosed space. Halon deprives fire of oxygen and it just won't work with the air movement. Mac will most likely recommend AFFF with a 2 head auto release.


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Old 05-29-2014, 07:43 AM   #13
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Have they solved the AFFF freezing problem?
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:51 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear of this Captain,

I am glad to hear your experience resulted in limited injuries and no loss of life (human or fur). The rig can be fixed... a headache yes... but manageable.

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