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Paint store fire kills owner and employee.
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 84-016, 1984 Sep; :1-5
On June 11, 1984 a paint store owner and an employee received fatal burns while attempting to extinguish a fire in the storage/mixing room of the paint store. A paddle mixer malfunctioned after the owner tripped over its wire; after it was repaired the mixer began sparking and ignited open cans of paint. The owner tried to extinguish the flames with a malfunctioning fire extinguisher. The storage room and the owner were suddenly engulfed in flames. An employee rushed into the storage room, apparently to aid the owner. Both the owner and the employee received second and third degree burns to over 90% of their bodies, and died within a week. It was concluded that vapors from a thinning/drying agent that was present in the room along with vapors from four open 5 gallon buckets of paint may have contributed to the flash of the fire. In addition, improperly stacked supplies appeared to have been knocked over and contributed to the spread of the fire as well as impeding the escape of the trapped workers. The most important contributing factors were identified as the cord from the mixer which was a tripping hazard and caused the initial mixer malfunction, the nonuse of splash shields over open buckets of paints being mixed, improper storage, and the lack of a fire prevention and fire emergency plan.
NIOSH-Author; FACE-84-016; Accident-analysis; Paint-shops; Paint-thinners; Fire-hazards; Solvents; Retail-workers
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division