Nov 26, 2011

Please be advised - we are experiencing technical not adjust your dial, please remain calm, stay in your houses until further notice...

  Where to begin...normally I start by deflecting blame, distorting the issue and ignoring the thing that is sitting in front of my face.

 In this instance I will do none of the above...just simply relay what I saw, what I did and what I remember.

 On Nov 25 at about 3pm (I think) I was driving down the 75 after being stuffed to the gills with some good home cooking at a friends house (beeBet and the Kidd family) for thanksgiving. She wasn't a friend until I skyped with her while in Collingwood visiting Bam an Miz Dellie but now I think it's safe to say we're good and tight.  (BeeBet is Bam's sister)

 Anyway, as I said I was driving down the 75 heading into Toledo. I had programmed my GPS to find a mcdicks as I wanted to pull up an old email I saved that had my friend JP's address on it. As I was getting ready for the exit a large hissing sound started coming from the back of the camper. I had already had a bag move and turn on my burner once (well two of them) and so I suspected it was that. But then it started wooshing...and I pulled over as quick as I could where it was safe.

 Now to explain camper has (had...not sure yet if it's still alive) a 3 burner stove in the back, a propane fridge and a propane furnace. Only the fridge was running a pilot light and obvious to me...get too much gas built up back there and I am fucked. But my window was down so I was fine while driving but as soon as I came to a stop and moved to get back to whatever it was....

 Kablam...all I remember is seeing a jet of flame shoot upwards, one shoot sideways and then feeling the impact. I sat there for a second trying to visualize my fire extinguishers but after a nano second bailed the fuck out. But what must have happened is that when the fresh airflow stopped, it pooled around the fridge's pilot and as they say...goodnight irene

 After taking a quick self check to make sure I was still all there I started to take in what the fuck was going on. The van really was on fire...holy fuck...THE VAN IS ON FIRE!!!

 Some lady pulled over and called 911 and thankfully for me after I got back into the burning van to get my extinguisher in reach (and reacting with panic strength I practically pulled the cabinet off the wall even though the extinguisher was not locked to it.

 So I blasted the interior which went out very easily and then jumped out the door to see flames shooting all over the place by the propane. A guardian had come in while I was outside and he was dousing the flames by the propane tank...yes by the tank. I joined in and also turned the tank off...and then these guys showed up

All smiles but everyone was worried about getting their picture taken while on duty...fuck the rules I want to know who was there for me. Thanks guys for the laughs and the help!

When parademics say they\ve never seen anything like know it was serious...or at least could have been more serious

crispy white chicken!! Yes my eye is ok...that's just the flash...but the mo and the goat are gone after this

St Vincent in Toledo...emergency entrance...first time ever in an ambulance or needing this type of help
  When I got to St Vincents mind started racing. Here I am hundreds of miles away from family/friends and I don't even have a working cell I can't even call anyone directly as I do not have their #. I did manage to recall my best friends # and he did get the message so it was all good.

 Then I was lucky that the cops that towed my vehicle brought me my laptop...that was when I could start letting people know I was ok.

At this point I haven't seen my own face...can only feel how strange my hair is
 I sat for about 3hr's before they came and dressed my wounds, did the final details and gave me the paperwork that sent me on my way. The bill? Who knows...I followed my mom's advice and got travel insurance to the nines. Thanks to the mom's who are always smarter than you think you are!
Not much on this hand..just redness but the cute nurse wrapped it to make me feel like a mummy

This hand has a flap of skin that came must have been in front of my face when the blast occured.

The doc on duty

It may look like it but I am not moving in for a boob grab! She was a great nurse, only 22 but did a great job! That is some crazy ass hair I've got going on

And after a few hours....I'm out

The burn specialist...his advice...if I can make it to Savannah...the cabbie said the same thing

trying to share the superficial damage

No singed nose hairs or burnt throat which was their major concern...and no boogies either :p

The worst hand...not anything to really worry about, just need to keep it clean and dressed..crazy blister though!!

It's alive!!!
 And so with that I conclude that I am Holland Ohio (this is where St Vincent sent me because I wanted to be by some shops to get a new set of clothes and such until I could get back to the van) at the Quality Inn (aka dive) for a minute so I can figure out the next move.

 To give you an idea of the impact of the blow out I realized afterward that my front windshield was laying about 20ft from the van, blew it right out of there. Also blew my barn doors (side doors) and they seem to be royally screwed as well. Back door...don't know. Condition of the interior...a mess but other than that I don't know. All my clothes and everything else appeared to be just fine in their cabinets. Lost my 3tb hard drive but it didn't have anything on it but stuff. Some of it important but fixable, some of it just crap. All in all it's the best that could happen in a shitty situation. Thanks go out to everyone for the love and concern! My only regret in how I handled it was not pulling over on the freeway and or not going straight for the propane tank shut off...other than that, with the assurance of fire and parademics I did everything I could to contain it and possibly more than most people would have done in the same situation. I recall hearing a lady yelling at me..."Run away foool!!!" But I knew that if the tank went...say good night to any chance of continuing

 I really don't know what happens now people...but I wanted to post all of this so you know I'm ok.

ps...I keep saying i am ok because I am physically ok...mentally a bit in shock and the unknown is killing me. Both are better than having no face

the blown window...I was right in between the fire and the window. Probably very lucky that my drivers side window was rolled down


The man with the extinguisher...didn't get his name but thanked him royally

 Bah...sorry none of those worked out. The video was broken during the recording and I can't jump wherever i want so I'll try this again in the future but I have to watch the 1hr video all the way through to get these shots of it.


  1. Okay, I feel kinda bad for laughing my arse off reading this whole thing but I couldn't help it - look at the massive smile on your face the whole time? Were you in shock or just thinking about the juicy blog post?? Haha!!!

    Run away fool!!

    (Seriously, glad you are okay! Hope you're able to keep on truckin' somehow...albeit in a safer, non-exploding type of vehicle).

  2. LOL...did you say Hilarious on your twitter post?? :)

    To be honest it was scary as hell but I felt great about how I handled it...I was on a bit of a superman high in the ambulance I think because I literally jumped back into a burning van filled with items that could have very well exploded on top of the initial fire. I was able to maintain my head, find my extinguisher, save most of it, with help put out the propane...I can only imagine that if fire had of shown up on seen in the thick of it ...say goodbye to the van. They'd have just blasted it. I get it...they would have done right but that would have been it for me and this vehicle. So I'm smiling because I have another chance...and because it was going to make an awesome post. Over 400 hits today!! :)

    I visited the van today, I believe I am still in business as it started like a charm. No undercarriage damage but a bomb went off and some thing or flexed out and messed up. If the cab is flexed I'm DOA but if the window goes in...I'm back to Detroit for PT2 :)

    Run away fool...was an awesome...but Thanksgiving in Detroit was even better...coming soon


Thank you!