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I don't know if I know this guy or not..........I call it very lucky.....mb
Denver News

Blacksmith Shed Explodes Near Niwot

NIWOT, Colo. -- A blacksmith avoided injury when his work shed exploded and burned near Niwot Sunday afternoon, authorities said.The explosion and fire badly damaged the 500-square foot shed and an all-terrain vehicle, but the owner had left the building before the blast, Boulder County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Dimond said.The explosion occurred just before 2:28 p.m. at 6893 Niwot Rd. on a farm west of Niwot, Dimond said. The building was fully engulfed in flames.
The blacksmith told investigators he had been in the shed, using oxygen-acetylene gas as he forged some tools.When a neighbor dropped by, the blacksmith said he shut off the gas and the two left the shed and went to his home about 50 yards away.About 15 minutes later, the blacksmith heard a blast and walked outside to see the shed had exploded in flames, he said.A neighbor driving by said she saw the shed was burning before it exploded.Dimond said the blast sent a gas tank flying 100 yards in the air before it landed in a field.The blacksmith said he lost some heirloom blacksmithing tools that were irreplaceable.

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15 minutes earlier and he wouldn't be complaining about losing his heirloom tools. They ARE replacable just not the sentimental attachment is irreplacable.
Shop safety, when talked about, usually is about safety glasses, air quality, gloves or no gloves, etc...

Death is rarely mentioned because it is, well, kinda final. Those who use gassers or O/A or anything obnoxious in a closed space need to be extra careful. Stewardship in a shop is important. Learn to take care of your shop and the equipment and it lessens the chance of things trying out for the olympic shotput team or worse. I know several people that when done using the O/A torch they leave the bottles on. I drain out the gasses because you just never know. A small leak over time (15 min) could ruin your day. I know the article said he shut off the gas.

A gas can does not have to be close to flying sparks or hot metal to pose a problem. Gasoline fumes are heavier than air and travel along the floor for long distances especially in a shop if there is no ventilation.

We can only speculate what happened to this poor fellows shop, but with a little diligence we may learn something from it.

This is an inherently dangerous career or in my case hobby.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of the day to make sure your shop is safe and at the end of the day or any time you leave it even for 15 minutes to make sure it is secure.

It is sad that he lost his shop and things that meant a lot to him and I feel for him, but I am looking at the big picture.

Mark <º))><

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I assume that the gas really had nothing to do with it starting as the shed started burning and *then* the explosion happened. Sounds like a typical welding fire, something hot out of sight when he left. Can happen with most of use that have a gasser in the shop. Something sets the shop on fire and the gas bottle goes blooie.

One reason my shop has minimal burnables in it's construction, (1/2 of it has *no* burnables, just concrete and steel!)

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Mr. Powers my shop is ALL brick and steel the only thing that conceiveably burn is the restrooms, the fire marshal has given up on inspecting it because they cannot find any "gigs" I keep ALL cylinders tied up and OFF all the time I am not using them. Safety is #1! I feel for that poor smith at least he CAN start over. It could have been worse.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reading the follow up it is obvious this guy knew something about what he was doing and the safety required to do it. I doubt that he did anything particularly lax having been a farrier and blacksmith for 30 years. Obviously something went amiss, possibly a piece of material that should have been picked up, possibly something that if he was in the shop would have been dealt with before this got to explosive potential...

Possibly this or possibly that...he was lucky that only his shop was lost.

I think my shop will be built (whenever that happens) a little farther from the house than I originally planned. I already store my gas, both propane and gasoline, outside.


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