(January 2001) In 1994 I was a volunteer firefighter with a fair amount of training and experience under my belt, but not a lot of smarts under my cap. We lived in the country and had a "burning barrel" to dispose of our rubbish. It had rained a few days before, and now our barrel contained wet cardboard. I knew that wouldn't burn, so I got my jerry can and poured gas into the barrel. Not a lot mind you, but apparently just enough.
As luck would have it my match didn't light, so I ran back into the house to get some more, while the fumes rose from the burning barrel. I returned and stood eigt feet back from the barrel and threw a match. Did I mention my wife was standing beside me?
The resulting explosion actually made her long hair look like she had been riding a motorcycle 70 MPH with no helmet. I burnt my eyebrows and hair, and the explosion was heard down at the golf course 1/4 mile away. There was small fires burning everywhere, and all I could do was stand there staring at my wife with my jaw hanging down.
Neither of us could hear a thing as our ears were ringing to beat the band. We put out the fires with a garden hose and spent the rest of the night assuring neighbours that we had not dynamited our property. I may amaze other people but mostly I amaze myself.
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Submitted by: Don Richter