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Thread: (7/22/2013) New Hampshire Avanti Destroyed In Garage Fire

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    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    (7/22/2013) New Hampshire Avanti Destroyed In Garage Fire

    http://www.unionleader.com/article/2...WS07/130729742

    (snippet copy....See link for complete article)

    July 22. 2013 9:33PM


    Antique car destroyed in Claremont garage fire
    By MEGHAN PIERCE


    Union Leader Correspondent

    CLAREMONT
    — The quick work of first responders saved a garage and nearby barn from a fire Saturday afternoon, however, the classic car that likely caused the fire couldn’t be saved.


    The “1963 Studebaker Avanti is most likely a total loss,” Fire Chief Rick Bergeron said in a press release.

    Firefighters were called to 164 Alden Road Saturday around 3:40 p.m. for a report of a car fire in a two-bay detached garage.

    The property and car owner, Philip Mudge, had first attempted to douse the blaze with a garden hose.

    “The cause of this fire has been placed with some sort of malfunction in an antique car that had been worked on earlier in the afternoon,” Bergeron said.

    Smoke was first noticed coming from the garage around 3:30 p.m.

    Mudge attempted to contain the fire to the engine compartment of the antique Studebaker with a garden hose, but it was out of control within minutes.

    “His efforts did, however, buy some time for the building, which allowed the fire department to reach his rural location,” Bergeron said.

    An off duty fire captain arrived just before the fire engine and reported the garage was well-involved at that point.

    Firefighters had the blaze under control just after 4 p.m., but stayed on scene another 90 minutes to vent the building and check for hot spots.

    The fire did not rise to the level of requiring a full first alarm response and was handled by eight firefighters.

    Though one bay of the garage suffered severe fire damage, Bergeron praised “the excellent actions of the first responding firefighters” with saving the garage and nearby barn.

    Bergeron added he did not have a cost estimate for the damage, but said the Mudges’ property is insured.


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    Golden Hawk Member
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    This fire could have happened for many different reasons,.....but the Avantis elevated fuel tank always caused me some concern when these cars are parked for a time inside a garage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SN-60 View Post
    This fire could have happened for many different reasons,.....but the Avantis elevated fuel tank always caused me some concern when these cars are parked for a time inside a garage.
    Might a battery cut-off switch have avoided this disaster? Who knows?

    I know some folks who go "nah" when I've mentioned how cheap they are to buy and easy to use. I don't understand it.
    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
    All are in Australia now

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    A garden hose is not exactly the tool of choice for dealing with a car fire. Might take too long to deploy, for one thing, and water is of little or no use in the case of a flammable liquids fire. This guy should have had dry-chemical fire extinguisher on hand, I have several of those, and also a 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher that I charge up and have handy whenever doing welding or using the burn barrel.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    President Member WCP's Avatar
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    A solenoid fuel shutoff at the tank region is the way to go.

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    That Avanti owner is neither in my AOAI Roster nor my SDC Roster.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCP View Post
    A solenoid fuel shutoff at the tank region is the way to go.
    I agree totally, but remember that unless it screws directly into the tank bottom fitting, you have not gotten rid of the most likely culprit, the short piece of fuel hose that exits the tank. So unless you are changing to something better then you are only lessening the potential.

    That's why I've chosen to use stainless steel reinforced fuel injection grade hose to plumb the lines. Then adding the shutoff.

    Bob
    , ,

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    President Member 57pack's Avatar
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    As a active member of our local fire dept, I have seen this happen many times.
    Most recently a Ford Model T Huckster. Breaks my heart when I remember how many antique and collector cars I have seen gone up in flames. If folks would only disconnect the battery when they park their cars in a garage for any time period.
    Also be careful storing gasoline and oily rags!
    Last edited by 57pack; 07-23-2013 at 02:15 PM.
    1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan
    1965 Studebaker Daytona Wagonaire
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    Speedster Member
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    He joined the AOAI since your roster was printed and is a current member of the Avanti Owners Association.
    Lew Schucart
    Editor, Avanti Magazine

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    What was his car's Chassis #?

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    President Member Corley's Avatar
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    Gee, I also own a '63 Avanti, and I didn't realize I owned an "antique car"! I thought it was an almost new sports vehicle, or at the most, a collector car or classic car. But, "antique"??? (Since I'm about twice as old as the Avanti, I guess you know what that makes ME!)
    Corley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corley View Post
    (Since I'm about twice as old as the Avanti, I guess you know what that makes ME!)

    Yup!! 100 years old and to think you don't write like you are over 85. Hopefully working on Studebakers will let me do as well.

    Bob
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    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    I don't recall how many Avantis David Walker lost in his tragic fire, but I suspect that this year has been one of the worst losses for the limited production in a long time.

    Let's be careful out there.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corley View Post
    Gee, I also own a '63 Avanti, and I didn't realize I owned an "antique car"! I thought it was an almost new sports vehicle, or at the most, a collector car or classic car. But, "antique"??? (Since I'm about twice as old as the Avanti, I guess you know what that makes ME!)
    Only 4% of all produced Avantis are NOT now antiques (1989-2007).

    That makes you about 100 (about twice as old as a 1963).
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    FYI

    Quote Originally Posted by gordr View Post
    A garden hose is not exactly the tool of choice for dealing with a car fire. Might take too long to deploy, for one thing, and water is of little or no use in the case of a flammable liquids fire. This guy should have had dry-chemical fire extinguisher on hand, I have several of those, and also a 2.5 gallon pressurized water extinguisher that I charge up and have handy whenever doing welding or using the burn barrel.

    I am the Guy!
    I did in fact have an extinguisher and it did in fact not work.
    The garden hose was my second choice and as stated, did not work very well.
    Avanti was R4414.
    Hindsight is a great teacher!

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    Silver Hawk Member jclary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostavanti View Post
    I am the Guy!
    I did in fact have an extinguisher and it did in fact not work.
    The garden hose was my second choice and as stated, did not work very well.
    Avanti was R4414.
    Hindsight is a great teacher!
    Welcome to the forum, Phil. All of us have been schooled by "Mr. Hindsight" at some time in our lives. Sorry for your loss. I have a very good friend near me who lost over 50 Studebakers in a fire earlier this year. None of them were junk car and trucks either. I visited his restaurant yesterday where he and his wife were dutifully working away during the busiest part of the day. Great folks who have their priorities in order and know what is important in life.

    Although they suffered a serious setback...they're back at it...rebuilding...one meal at a time. Knowing, things could have been much worse...concentrating on the windshield of life, glancing in the rear view mirror, but not dwelling on it. Join us here, I'm sure you can contribute to the conversation.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC


    SDC member since 1975

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    Thanks, John
    As soon as I get a little time (currently in the clean up phase), I will post some photos of the damage and more info about what happened
    with the hope that someone else may avoid a similar loss.
    And yes, we plan to have another Avanti!
    Phil

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    President Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    Dang, sorry to hear about this. It always sucks when any old car gets involved in a fire like this. Have to remember to have at least a couple fire extinguishers in the garage and check them regularly. I know my dad and I keep several extinguishers out in the barn. One type A, and a couple type ABCs. I always recommend the type ABCs for use inside houses, garages, and the car itself and keep a plain type A around just because they are easily rechargeable and useful.
    In English...
    Type A: extinguisher for solids such as cardboard, wood, and paper. Water charged.
    Type B: extinguisher for liquid fires, oil.
    Type C: extinguisher for electrical fires.
    Type D: extinguisher for weird stuff, usually found in labs
    Type ABC: universal combining type A, B, and C.
    Chris Dresbach

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    Silver Hawk Member JBOYLE's Avatar
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    As Chris mentions...you have to check on them every few years. They'll give you a service tag when it's done so you can keep track of it.. It's cheap. Also, when you buy extinguishers, get those with metal heads...they can be recharged. Plastic ones are disposable.
    63 Avanti R1 2788
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    President Member Corvanti's Avatar
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    sorry to hear about this.

    i hope you had "proper" insurance on her.

    and for those that don't, this is a reason to do so!
    Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

    '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

    '40 Champion. sold 10/11. [IMG][/IMG] '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.[IMG][/IMG]

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    Explain how taking the battery cable off an Avanti can prevent a fire?

    Since new, my Avanti has never had the cables removed while in storage, in recent years I do keep a battery tender 1 & 1/4 amp charger on the battery during the winter.
    Last edited by Hawklover; 06-20-2015 at 08:45 PM.

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    For a conflagration to commence, there has to be a point of ignition.........just because the car is stored in a garage does not mean fire is imminent. Since 1964 my Avanti has been garage stored........and suffered no tragedies....
    Quote Originally Posted by SN-60 View Post
    This fire could have happened for many different reasons,.....but the Avantis elevated fuel tank always caused me some concern when these cars are parked for a time inside a garage.

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    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawklover View Post
    Explain how taking the battery cable off an Avanti can prevent a fire?

    Since new, my Avanti has never had the cables removed while in storage, in recent years I do keep a battery tender 1 & 1/4 amp charger on the battery during the winter.
    I had a 1 amp charger on a battery overnight in the garage. When I came out the next morning I couldn't find my battery. It had exploded overnight, and no pieces were big enough to haul in for scrap. It also sprayed acid over the hood of my dad's Oldsmobile. A year later I had a 4 amp charger on my Dodge Dakota overnight. Luckily I had the charger on top of the radiator and had the hood open. When I came out the next day I found the charger burned to a crisp, but the fire didn't spread because nothing combustable was next to it.

    I would never again leave a charger on a battery unattended, unless the battery and charger were out in the yard on green grass or on cement away from anything valuable. I don't believe in battery tenders and have never found the need for them. Both my Model A and Studebaker 6 volt batteries are over 10 years old and still start the cars after 6 to 7 months of winter storage. If I happen to be in the garage for an hour or so I might put a small charger on the battery for that short time, but most years the batteries never see a charger for the winter storage time.

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    President Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    Electricity is heat. When a car or anything with a battery in it sits for an extended period of time battery acid can build up around the posts. Battery acid can cause a short or a spark and over time can lead to a fire or cause the battery to explode. I've seen it happen. Leaving a battery on a trickle charger is one thing but when doing it I would highly recommend taking the battery out or at least disconnecting it.

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    The best reason to disconnect the battery is that rats and mice chew trough wiring and causes shorts leading to a fire.
    One of our chapter members was out of town and his wife called him that the horn on his 1963 Hawk was blowing and smoke was coming from under the hood.
    He taught his wife to open the hood and disconnect the battery in a hurry.
    Apparently the horn wire had shorted and the horn relay pulled in and stayed on , overheated and burned part of the wiring harness.

    Robert Kapteyn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawklover View Post
    For a conflagration to commence, there has to be a point of ignition.........just because the car is stored in a garage does not mean fire is imminent. Since 1964 my Avanti has been garage stored........and suffered no tragedies....
    I think Murphy's Law may have something to do with it!

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    I concur that leaving any type of charger on for indefinite periods of time is unwise. I use the C-Tek units (many different configurations available) and periodically plug them in when I am working (or playing) in my shop. I just don't think long term is a good solution. There have been enough examples posted here.
    Bill

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    Battery Tender products only charge to keep the battery "topped off"....thereafter it goes into a float state.......
    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzard View Post
    I concur that leaving any type of charger on for indefinite periods of time is unwise. I use the C-Tek units (many different configurations available) and periodically plug them in when I am working (or playing) in my shop. I just don't think long term is a good solution. There have been enough examples posted here.
    Bill

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    Champ, I doubt my Avanti could start after laying for 7 months with no use,
    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    I had a 1 amp charger on a battery overnight in the garage. When I came out the next morning I couldn't find my battery. It had exploded overnight, and no pieces were big enough to haul in for scrap. It also sprayed acid over the hood of my dad's Oldsmobile. A year later I had a 4 amp charger on my Dodge Dakota overnight. Luckily I had the charger on top of the radiator and had the hood open. When I came out the next day I found the charger burned to a crisp, but the fire didn't spread because nothing combustable was next to it.

    I would never again leave a charger on a battery unattended, unless the battery and charger were out in the yard on green grass or on cement away from anything valuable. I don't believe in battery tenders and have never found the need for them. Both my Model A and Studebaker 6 volt batteries are over 10 years old and still start the cars after 6 to 7 months of winter storage. If I happen to be in the garage for an hour or so I might put a small charger on the battery for that short time, but most years the batteries never see a charger for the winter storage time.

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    Silver Hawk Member StudeDave57's Avatar
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    Lightbulb uh oh

    Is it just me or is it weird that a two year old thread was dredged up just to grind an axe?


    Quote Originally Posted by Hawklover View Post
    Champ, I doubt my Avanti could start after laying for 7 months with no use,
    So Avantis are NOT as 'superior' to Studebakers/Packards as you have stated many times over this past week.

    How do I know?

    Well~ my '58 Packard once fired right off after a year of sitting. (almost exactly to the day in fact)
    There's even a thread about it somewhere on this very Forum.

    I would've posted about it back in April/May 2010 or so...?




    StudeDave '57
    Ask the Man who owns one...

  31. #31
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    That is the beauty of knowledge, checking past posts to discover what folks were talking about on many interesting subjects...................in the end we each have to be guided by our own belief system(s).....I fail to understand how that is axe grinding??.......now if you want to talk about that axe being put to good use, lets discuss government waste of most of our tax dollars:-(
    Quote Originally Posted by StudeDave57 View Post
    Is it just me or is it weird that a two year old thread was dredged up just to grind an axe?




    So Avantis are NOT as 'superior' to Studebakers/Packards as you have stated many times over this past week.

    How do I know?

    Well~ my '58 Packard once fired right off after a year of sitting. (almost exactly to the day in fact)
    There's even a thread about it somewhere on this very Forum.

    I would've posted about it back in April/May 2010 or so...?




    StudeDave '57
    Ask the Man who owns one...

  32. #32
    Silver Hawk Member StudeDave57's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawklover View Post
    I fail to understand how that is axe grinding??
    I've been paying attention. You've been posting right behind a certain someone just like someone else has been doing to my Dad. You guys even managed to get some poor guys' Avanti thread locked up the other day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawklover View Post
    lets discuss government waste of most of our tax dollars :-(
    That sounds political, and is not allowed here. Sorry.


    So anyway- about those 'superior' Avantis...






    StudeDave '57

  33. #33
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    I guess I don't see what you see, so as they say......we will have to agree to disagree, and continue living our collective lives:-)
    Quote Originally Posted by StudeDave57 View Post
    I've been paying attention. You've been posting right behind a certain someone just like someone else has been doing to my Dad. You guys even managed to get some poor guys' Avanti thread locked up the other day...


    That sounds political, and is not allowed here. Sorry.


    So anyway- about those 'superior' Avantis...






    StudeDave '57

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