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Old 07-18-02, 04:58 PM   #1
Pyromancer
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Post Firebreathing fuel in Canada

Hi There,

I'm leaving for Canada soon to perform at Halifax and I am looking for the right fuel for firebreathing. Here in the Netherlands I use a brand called 'Farmlight', which is mostly odourless and clear as water. Can I get anything similar in Canada? (It shouldn't be too flammable, though)

And oh, my question is not whether firebreathing will be good for my health, coz I know it aint. I just want to get away with the least possible damage.
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Old 07-20-02, 11:28 AM   #2
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Fire Rips Through Peru Disco, 24 Dead
BY JUDE WEBBER
Reuters
Posted on Sat, Jul. 20, 2002

LIMA, Peru - A fire ripped through a packed illegal disco in the Peruvian capital on Saturday after a fire-eater set curtains ablaze when he blew out a plume of flames, killing at least 24 people and a lion and tiger that were part of the show.

Tulio Nicolini, head of Peru's volunteer fire service said 24 people were confirmed dead and more than 40 injured in the blaze at the Utopia disco in an upscale neighborhood of Lima.

"We've checked the entire disco now, there are no more dead other than the 24 who died of asphyxiation," he told Reuters.

But he said around 50 people were hospitalized, some in critical condition, with asphyxiation and injuries sustained as they rushed to get out.

"I am profoundly upset and I send my condolences to the families of these young people," President Alejandro Toledo told RPP radio as he prepared to board a plane for the southern city of Puno, which is in the grip of a chill that has killed 59 people in the lowest temperatures in a decade in the Andes.

"I know these words cannot heal the pain many families are feeling," he said. "I have taken the decision ... to act with a firm hand and the full weight of the law against the irresponsible people who manage these illegal establishments."

The fire started around 3 a.m. local time (4 a.m. EDT) during a party, also featuring a lion and a Bengal tiger in cages, to celebrate the disco's second month of operation.

Police said the blaze, which was brought under control by morning, was started by a fire-eater who set curtains alight during his act. Earlier reports had said a juggler could have started the fire.

It was the second major fire in Lima in less than 12 months. In December, Peru vowed to step up fire safety standards after more than 300 people died when a fireworks store in a poor shopping district of central Lima caught fire.

"DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN"

"This was a disaster waiting to happen," Nicolini said, adding the disco had no water sprinkler system that could have helped douse the flames. "It was a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided with adequate safety measures."

He said emergency exits were not signposted and there were no fire extinguishers.

"When the emergency started, some waiters tried to put out the flames by throwing the drinks they had in their hands, which caused the fire to spread," he told Reuters.

Moises Gordillo, who escaped the blaze, told RPP radio people had thought it was part of the show when the ceiling caught fire. Another witness described the ensuing panic.

"It all happened incredibly quickly, everything happened in a matter of seconds. It was so fast people didn't realize," the man, who declined to give his name, told Canal N. He said he had been among the first of about 1,000 revelers to escape.

"There were too many people inside, you couldn't move," he said, adding some had jumped from the second floor to flee.

Both of Peru's vice presidents were among groups waiting at hospitals for news of loved ones caught in the blaze.

Carlos Dargent, mayor of the residential Surco neighborhood where the disco was located, said it had been an illegal establishment with no building or operating license.

He said there had been a show with animals and he could see a dead lion and tiger, apparently choked by the smoke, lying in their cages.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miami/news/world/3702169.htm
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Old 07-20-02, 03:04 PM   #3
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It doesn't say whether the fire guy or the juggler escaped.
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Old 07-20-02, 05:23 PM   #4
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Denver radio news report said someone had poured benzine on the bar. !!!!!!!!!!

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Old 07-21-02, 09:47 AM   #5
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Thanks for your reply Jim.

But how does it answer my questions about fuel for the outdoor shows that I'll be doing in Canada?
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Old 07-21-02, 10:39 AM   #6
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Hey Pyromancer.

You'll be lookign for kerosene (I think.) You can buy it at the local Canadian Tire, or HOme Hardware. Fire performers over here use either napthalene, or kerosene. Naptha is more volatile - is really called white gas - and is found as a fuel for camp stoves. The big brand is Coleman camp fuel. It burns fast, bright and clean, but is pretty dangerous. Kerosene is a slightly greasier, blacker burning, safer alternative. It has a slower burn time (it takes awhile to light on a set of torches) and tends to make juggling torches a bit greasy.

There ya go. You'll probably want to test them out when you get into Canada.
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Old 07-21-02, 10:52 AM   #7
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White gass is very flammable, I don't want to use it, because it carries more risks with it. Accidents can get out of hand quite easily if the fluids you use are too flamable. With streetshows, you always carry all your stuff with you and I rather don't have a too flammable substance within a few metres if I am performing...

I am looking for a fluid with the same properties as kerosene or similar fluids, but without the smell. The smellier, the more toxic, is my rule of thumb - if we are speakig about a paraffin oil without any additives. Naphtalene is very smelly, consists more or out of less pure carcinogenics and also too flammable, if I am correct.

Do you know of any odourless substance?

Cheers!

[ 07-21-2002: Message edited by: Pyromancer ]</p>
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Old 07-21-02, 11:15 AM   #8
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Hello pyromancer,
Understand your feelings about white gas. I had a friend blow some fire with white gas (ironically enough in a bar and we all walked away uncharred). He ended up singing his beard but it was one of the biggest and brightest clouds I'd ever seen him create. I also would like to add that he was a self-prclaimed pyromaniac too [img]tongue.gif[/img]
What about lamp oil? It burns like kerosene but I"ve heard it's a bit safer to put in your mouth etc. I have heard of a few firebreathers using this. It can also be found in places like Canadian Tire etc.

Good luck though!

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Old 07-22-02, 04:18 AM   #9
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Thanks Flo. I think that's the stuff I am looking for...
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Old 07-22-02, 10:52 AM   #10
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Apple

If it's liquid paraffin you're looking for, I believe the most common brand is "PharmaFlam", self-described as highly refined, odourless, and smokeless. Made in Canada, and available in 250ml and 1L clear plastic bottles.

For staff/torch dance pieces, I've often seen artists use Citronella oil, available in same sizes. Both these products should be available at Cdn Tire and Home Hardware stores, additionally at Home Depot, Revy Home Centres and Building Box. More expensive, but likely also available at any gifty-shop place along the wharf that sells candles and oil lamps.

'Course, the PharmaFlam also says "If swallowed, call physician or poison control centre immediately."

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Old 07-22-02, 01:18 PM   #11
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Now this is what I really needed... Cheers!
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Old 07-24-02, 11:04 AM   #12
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Has anyone considered corn starch or lycopodium powder?

The bonus of corn [maize] starch (or corn meal, or corn flour -- admittedly I forget which) is it's 100% safe and digestible.
If you spill it, it won't ignite (only works when suspended in air)

The pitfalls?
It gums up your mouth.
It makes your stage smell like popcorn/corn bread
I can't vouch for how good a flame you'd get, but it looked OK the one time I did it (with the corn product). I recall it was good for a short burst. Of course, it was my first time so maybe I could have done better.

I don't know about the digestibility of lycopodum; just know it's highly flammable when suspended in air.

[additional information I just found]
http://www.jugglingwithatwist.fsnet.co.uk/page17.html
Apparently custard powder or powdered milk will do as well. Powdered milk and custard powder I presume would melt in your mouth rather quickly. And milk would be unacceptable for vegans. Lycopodium is a spore, I discovered.

Amazing what you can learn if you actually do research.

[ooh! more info!]
Lycopodium, at least as a surgical glove lubricant, was deemed toxic by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA (United States of Afghanibombers). (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/glvpwd.html) It is also an ingredient in some homeopathic remedies (http://www.organix.net/organix/newton6.htm)

--Rich

[ 07-25-2002: Message edited by: Rich Potter ]

[ 07-25-2002: Message edited by: Rich Potter ]</p>
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Old 07-26-02, 02:24 PM   #13
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Rich, I'm not a fireworker, so I have nothing to compare your experience of blowing cornstarch, but ... I do know that most organic particulates will burn when fine enough and evenly dispursed in air. The problem is that they're more likely to flash/explode, and I would think that they might be easier to aspirate. Do you recommend them, or was this strictly an "inquiring minds" experiment. Curious.

I know pyrotechs setting controlled burns for movie and TV fx use contact cement (must be applied close to lighting; will not burn once dry). When applied in an even layer on a non-combustible surface such as brick or concrete block, then lit, the burn is hot, dramatic and lasts for many minutes. Anyone know if this is suitable for performing? I would think that contact cement might work for staff, but I'm interested to know if it burns too fast, too hot, or maybe flies off in huge flaming gobs.
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Old 07-26-02, 10:37 PM   #14
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Lynneski,
Mostly it's academic for an eye toward being helpful.

My 8th grade science teacher did a demonstration with a long rubber tube with some fine powder (grain dust? lycopodium?) ...teaching us about grain mill explosions (cool teacher, although given to crappy puns) Perhaps the safer way to conduct this behavior is through a tube.

The other thing I remember is from a book, "Secrets of Magic" (my brother got it for Xmas in 1973 and I stole it) showing how people USED TO blow fire. They had a sulphur mixture put into a half walnut shell with a hole drilled in it.

They'd blast the stuff thru the walnut shell. I guess the shell would protect their mouth and their throat.

I don't blow fire as I've heard too many horror stories and I'm borderline ADD. A moment of distraction and "oops-head's-on-fire"

--Rich
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Old 08-01-02, 12:00 PM   #15
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Hmmm...

There has been a huge thread in this already. I don't remember where en when ecactly on this forum, but a search for some keywords would do the job.

And by the way: I found the most delicious lamp oil in Canada... ;-)
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