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Paint Factory Fire 1955 San Francisco California

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Published on Jul 7, 2009

A major fire at a paint factory in 1955, before our modern hazardous materials and worker protection standards in the US (especially OSHA's Hazwoper regulation for emergency responders. On November 22, 2006, at about 2:45 am, a violent explosion at the CAI/Arnel Ink and Paint manufacturing facility rocked the town of Danvers, MA. Watch the CSB video on this fire at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYN9Wi... . The explosion and subsequent fire destroyed the facility, heavily damaged dozens of nearby homes and businesses, and shattered windows as far away as two miles. At least 10 residents required hospital treatment for cuts and bruises. Twenty-four homes and six businesses were damaged beyond repair. Dozens of boats at the nearby marina were heavily damaged by blast overpressure and debris strikes. The fire department ordered the evacuation of more than 300 residents within a half-mile radius of the facility. Numerous residents could not return for many months while they waited for their houses to be rebuilt or repaired. The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) determined that the explosion was fueled by vapor released from a 2000-gallon tank of highly flammable liquid. An open steam valve on the tank heater most likely caused the flammable liquid to overheat and accumulate in the building production area to what is calculated to have been a near-ideal vapor-air concentration. An unknown ignition source ignited the flammable atmosphere, causing the explosion. The rapidly expanding ignited vapor inside the building created a pressure wave that shattered the rigid, brittle brick walls—disintegrating the structure—and ignited thousands of gallons of flammable liquids stored inside the building and some 51,000 pounds of industrial-grade nitrocellulose material stored nearby. The resultant fire burned for more than 17 hours. For the full report by the Chemical Safety Board, go to http://www.chemsafety.gov/assets/docu...

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