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Fire Chief Injured During Explosion

Water Causes Burning Magnesium to Explode

Contact: John S. Robison, State Fire Marshal

334-241-4166

7/18/2003

Sheffield Fire Chief Dewey King sustained a broken leg Thursday July 17th when burning magnesium exploded while firefighters were working to extinguish a fire.

 

The fire occurred at 323 South Montgomery Avenue after electrical power was restored to a vacant auto parts building in preparation for a yard sale. The fire, caused by a faulty ballast in a light fixture, involved a storage building.

 

Firefighters observed a white and light blue flame in the fire and experienced problems extinguishing the fire. The chief stepped up to assist firefighters and the explosion occurred when water was discharged onto the burning magnesium.

 

No other injuries were reported by investigators with the Sheffield Fire Department and Alabama State Fire Marshals Office.