Firefighters let ammo filled house burn

This is a discussion on Firefighters let ammo filled house burn within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Xmas blaze destroys Sandisfield home No one injured Last Edited: Friday, 26 Dec 2008, 8:18 AM EST Created On: Thursday, 25 Dec 2008, 7:39 PM ...

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Thread: Firefighters let ammo filled house burn

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    Firefighters let ammo filled house burn

    Xmas blaze destroys
    Sandisfield home
    No one injured
    Last Edited: Friday, 26 Dec 2008, 8:18 AM EST
    Created On: Thursday, 25 Dec 2008, 7:39 PM EST

    Barry Kriger
    Kara Dominick
    SANDISFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A fire at a house in Sandisfield was deemed too dangerous for firefighters to put out after live ammunition inside the house began going off.

    The fire started in the chimney of a house on Elk Road and spread to the attic.

    When firefighters arrived and started putting out the fire, ammunition began going off and one firefighter was hit by shrapnel.

    Fire Chief Ralph Morrison said firefighters were forced to let the fire burn itself out; it took seven hours.

    The owner of the house, Eugene Kearns, was taken to a hospital in Connecticut for smoke inhalation and other injuries. He is expected to be ok.
    __________________________________________________ _

    The local news info-babe was stating the home owner is a Vietnam vet and his large stock pile of ammo was known to the fire chief.
    In Mass. if you have over 10,000 rounds you have to let the FD know. What a bummer that his house was a total loss.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

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    In MA You got to let the Fire Dept know if You got more than 10,000 rounds. Does this apply all over ?.

    Sad to hear of His house loss.

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    Does this apply all over ?.
    Nope.

    Even if you did that, do you think they would attempt to put the fire out at your house? Or would the fire chief say it was too hazardous?
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    Hot Guns. I hear You. I just wondered what the Law was and if there was one. If I ever have that much Ammo and live in MA I will shoot one round to make it 9,999. Problem solved.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccman View Post
    In MA You got to let the Fire Dept know if You got more than 10,000 rounds. Does this apply all over ?.
    No.

    I hope the homeowner makes a full and speedy recovery. I also hope the injured firefighter is able to do the same.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    The fire Dept. backed of the fire due to the shrapnel injury, they where in the process of fighting the fire.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

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    Back in the early 80's right after I got out of the Navy, one of my freinds talked me in joining the city Fire Dept as a part time fireman. I got paid 10 bucks an hour every time we got called out, even if it was a false alarm. There were months that I made several hundred bucks.

    In the 5 years I spent with them, I fought dozens of structural fires. Several of them had pretty good quantities of ammo in them. I remember being pelted with shot gun pellets from them cooking off from a house where a guy that was big into skeet shooting had several cases of shotguns shells in a closet. It wasn't a big deal, it was like someone thowing sand at you, but we were wearing turnouts and had our faceshields down. They were popping off and flaring up and it sounded like popcorn going off.

    Only one time were we told to ''back off" and that was with a guy that shot in muzzleloading competitions that bought black powder in bulk, a fire started in his garage and he lost control of it and called the FireDept. We evacuated the whole neigborhood and using monitors on the engines, put it out. Lucky for us, the fire didnt reach where the powder was stored.
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    Senior Member Array Paladin132's Avatar
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    Do people store ammo in fire proof gun safes?

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    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    This is the type of wonderful stuff we have to put up with in Mass.

    Powder and Ammunition Storage
    527 CMR 13.04: Licenses, Registrations, Permits and Certificates

    (1) Exemption: License, Registration, or Permit: In accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 148 13, the Board hereby prescribes the following quantities of explosive materials that shall be exempt from License, Registration, and Permit and may be kept, or stored in a building or other structure:

    (a) Small Arms Ammunition

    1. Not more than 10,000 rounds of rim fire ammunition.

    2. Not more than 10,000 rounds of center fire ammunition.

    3. Not more than 5,000 rounds of shotgun ammunition.

    (b) Small Arms Ammunition Primers

    1. Not more than 1,000 caps or other small arms primers.

    (c) Smokeless Propellants

    1. Not more than 16 pounds.

    2. Persons under 18 years of age may not keep or store Smokeless Propellants.

    3. Not more than two pounds of such propellant shall be stored in a multiple family dwelling or a building of public access.

    (d) Black Powder

    1. Not more than two pounds.

    2. Persons under 18 years of age may not keep or store black powder.

    (e) Exempt quantities of small arms ammunition, primers, smokeless propellants and black powder shall be stored in original containers and such containers shall be stored in a locked cabinet, closet or box when not in use.

    (f) Special industrial explosive devices when in quantities of less than 50 pounds net weight of explosives.

    (2) Storage By Permit: In accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 148 13, the Board hereby prescribes the following quantities of explosive materials that shall be exempt from License, and Registration, and may be kept, or stored in a building or other structure provided a permit has been obtained from the head of the local fire department;

    (a) Small Arms Ammunition: Private Use. Small arms ammunition in amounts over that specified in 527 CMR 13.04(1), that do not exceed 100,000 total rounds at any one time, may be kept for private use provided none of the individual limitations listed below are exceeded.

    1. 10,001 to 30,000 rounds of rim fire ammunition.

    2. 10,001 to 50,000 rounds of center fire ammunition not to include shotgun ammunition.

    3. 10,001 to 50,000 rounds of shotgun ammunition not to include center fire ammunition.

    (b) Small Arms Ammunition: Commercial Use. Not to exceed 200,000 rounds in any combination.

    (c) Small Arms Ammunition Primers: Private Use

    Not to exceed 10,000 Small Arms Ammunition Primers.

    (d) Small Arms Ammunition Primers: Commercial Use

    Not to exceed 100,000 Small Arms Ammunition Primers.

    (e) Smokeless Propellants: Private Use

    1. Not to exceed 48 pounds Smokeless Propellants.

    2. Persons under 18 years of age may not keep or store Smokeless Propellants.

    3. The head of the local fire department may limit the quantity of smokeless propellants stored by permit to as low as two pounds if such propellant shall be stored in a multiple family dwelling or a building of public access.

    (f) Smokeless Propellants: Commercial Use

    Not to exceed 100 pounds smokeless propellant.

    (g) Black Powder: Private Use

    1. Not to exceed five pounds of black powder.

    2. Persons under 18 years of age may not keep or store black powder.

    3. The head of the local fire department may limit the quantity of black powder stored by permit to as low as two pounds if such black powder shall be stored in a multiple family dwelling or a building of public access.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Depending on the terms of his home owners policy this guy could seriously be hosed. I hope his policy will cover him. Glad he wasn't injured too badly.
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Depending on the terms of his home owners policy this guy could seriously be hosed. I hope his policy will cover him. Glad he wasn't injured too badly.
    YMMV but my HO policy excludes ammo - meaning only that they will not pay to replace the ammo. Everything else, including the damage done by the ammo is covered.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    From what I understand from the TV news cast the Chief knew of the ammo. If in fact the Vet had over 10,000 rounds (not known yet) the Chief would have been the one to issue the permit, similar to if you have over a certain gallons of fuel storage.
    Agreed this guy could be hosed if he was not in compliance with Ins. policy and or fire regs. We also don't know if it was only the ammo that was cooking off in the blaze.
    Good idea to know your state and local requirements with ammo storage.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

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    I struggle with why the 10,000 round rule offends. I have maybe 1,000 rounds (mostly shotgun shells) in my home and would certainly notify firefighters of the bullets should we have a fire. I'd hate to see a firefighter harmed while attempting to save my property.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Depending on the terms of his home owners policy this guy could seriously be hosed. I hope his policy will cover him. Glad he wasn't injured too badly.
    That was my very first thought.
    I hope he got an umbrella policy or even a firearms rider (which would cover ammunition too), or toherwise as noted he may be hosed.
    The fire dept. not attempting to reduce his damages as underwritten directly due to what they deemed to be an unuausal hazzard may fall outside of their coverage rules.

    - Janq
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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paladin132 View Post
    Do people store ammo in fire proof gun safes?
    Most safes will barely last 10-15 minutes in a real fire, unless you have one of those serious safes - then you might get about 30 minutes. No safe is fireproof, unfortunately.

    Well, maybe there's something out there but it is going to be well beyond most people's price range.

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