Firefighter shot by stored rifle at house fire.

This is a discussion on Firefighter shot by stored rifle at house fire. within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I just got an email from our safety officer about this. Don't have any details yet, but supposedly in Missouri. We have discussed the dangers ...

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Thread: Firefighter shot by stored rifle at house fire.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Firefighter shot by stored rifle at house fire.

    I just got an email from our safety officer about this. Don't have any details yet, but supposedly in Missouri.

    We have discussed the dangers of stored ammo at house fires on here many times, this should be interesting to see.
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Firefighter shot by stored rifle at house fire.

    I just got an email from our safety officer about this. Don't have any details yet, but supposedly in Missouri. I imagine it will be on firefighterclosecalls.com



    We have discussed the dangers of stored ammo at house fires on here many times, this should be interesting to see.



    And in amy case get well soon wishes to a brother firefighter.
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    I entered the burned home and discovered two lever action rifles underneath the burned mattress in the master bedroom. Both rifles were 30-30 caliber, one Marlin model 336 and one Winchester model 94. The Marlin was not loaded and did not contain any spent shell casings. The Winchester was loaded and there was a spent shell casing in the chamber. After careful reconstruction, I was able to determine the bullet fired from the Winchester rifle traveled through the exterior wall, traveled 14’-18’ and struck the firefighter in the left upper thigh, then traveled to and ricocheted off of the adjacent mobile home and storage building, coming to rest in the ground North of the scene.
    Fire Fighter Close Calls.com

    Interesting scenario, loaded rifle under a mattress cooks off. Good thing the fire fighters injuries were not more serious.
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    I think the key is that the round was in the chamber. If heated sufficiently, I could see the round going off, and since the chamber is containing the expanding gasses, it fires like a normal shot.

    Normally ammo just sitting around wont do this because it's not contained.
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    Member Array KillrFajitas's Avatar
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    I have reloading powder in my home. It's by an exterior corner of the house. I might be able to put it in a small 30-minute fireproof safe. If there is a fire, how bad is this? Talking stored powder, not guns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bardo View Post
    I think the key is that the round was in the chamber. If heated sufficiently, I could see the round going off, and since the chamber is containing the expanding gasses, it fires like a normal shot.

    Normally ammo just sitting around wont do this because it's not contained.

    So many people miss this fact. If. The ammo is just sitting around, then cooked off the brass is whats going to go flying or split open because it is lighter than the projectile. The chamber is a critical part of how a gun operates.

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    Member Array DrahtDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillrFajitas View Post
    I have reloading powder in my home. It's by an exterior corner of the house. I might be able to put it in a small 30-minute fireproof safe. If there is a fire, how bad is this? Talking stored powder, not guns.
    Its definitely going to provide more fuel for the fire produce more heat and accelerate the fire, but as long as it does not have any means to build pressure there wont be an explosion or anything. I dont keep my powder in any "fireproof" container. If you have gas cans in your garage they are most likely more of a threat than the powder stored in its original container in your house.

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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Stored ammo will just pop, live round in a chamber with a closed bolt behind is a whole nother story.
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    i heard of this before, i can’t remember where it was though. The story i heard was a guy had an old muzzle loader on the wall as a decorative piece, in a fire powder cooked off and fired off and old round that exited building and hit a chief officer in the helmet outside and lodged in the helmet. Supposedly the home owner never even knew it was loaded and just thought it was a nice decoration. Chief was ok and kept the helmet as a decoration of his own.

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    Talk about everything falling into place to make it happen.

    1) The firearm had to be loaded.
    2) The house had to catch on fire.
    3) The firearm had to be stored in a position to be directly pointed at someone(other than the ceiling, floor or hard object)
    4) The FF had to be in the exact spot when the heat was at its critical point, that when fired out of the barrel the bullet would strike a person.


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    If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

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    Member Array KillrFajitas's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. This has been in the back of my mind since I started reloading.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrahtDog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KillrFajitas View Post
    I have reloading powder in my home. It's by an exterior corner of the house. I might be able to put it in a small 30-minute fireproof safe. If there is a fire, how bad is this? Talking stored powder, not guns.
    Its definitely going to provide more fuel for the fire produce more heat and accelerate the fire, but as long as it does not have any means to build pressure there wont be an explosion or anything. I dont keep my powder in any "fireproof" container. If you have gas cans in your garage they are most likely more of a threat than the powder stored in its original container in your house.
    I won't say it'd "explode" but I think it might be more dangerous than just adding fuel. Even outside a pressurized chamber, gunpowder tends to burn quite vigorously. I imagine a container of it could make a pretty good thump when it went off.

    Storing it in a safe might actually make it worse. If the temperature in the safe reaches high enough without the safe itself being compromised, the powder might go off and turn the thing into a bomb. Is it likely? I couldn't say. That's just the way it seems to me.
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    Sadly, I've experienced ammo burning in a fire and have some personal observations. I agree with loose ammo exploding somewhat harmlessly when not in the confines of a gun's chamber. They sort of demonstrated that on an episode of Mythbusters (disclaimer-I know it's entertainment television). However, I saw first-hand quite a few bullet holes in the metal spam cans I had, plus in the buildings tin walls. I also found fired bullets without their cases nearby, but clearly were "fired" and fell. It's my opinion that bullets in confined and tight packaging, for example 30.06 in clips, or ammo on stripper clips, all in a spam can, will likely have the opportunity to fire a weak bullet due to the tightness of them being packed together. That tight packing sort of simulates (very weakly) the confines of a chambered round.
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    As responsible gun owners, in case of fire, we should:

    1. Unload all firearms that are not necessary for self defense, and/or
    2. Make sure loaded firearms are positioned to not discharge into humans, and/or
    3. Use fire resistant gun safes.
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