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Off-Duty Firefighter Escapes Shed Explosion with Singed Legs

The fire broke out around 5:30 p.m. just after John Laroche put away his lawnmower.

John Laroche of Cranston is lucky to have just singed shins after an explosion in his garden shed next to his Baldino Drive home tonight.

The Cranston homeowner and Central Falls firefighter was just putting away his lawnmower at 5:30 p.m. or so when it just "blew up."

Cranston Firefighters rushed to the scene at 13 Baldino Drive minutes after the call and soon made quick work of the shed, breaking off pieces and prying open the roof to get at the flames.

Laroche said he was putting away his equipment when he started to feel heat around his legs. Suddenly, there were flames.

"By the time I got outside of the shed, the whole thing was. . ." Laroche said, paused, and then opened his eyes wide. "You don't expect it to happen to yourself when you do this every day for a job."

Baldino Drive was closed for a time as firefighters worked the scene.

No word yet on what caused the fire.

adam spellman June 13, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Method lab?
Chris12 June 13, 2013 at 09:51 AM
Most of the time the motor on my gas lawnmower is still warm when I put it away in the wood shed. Can this warm motor start a fire in the shed? The shed is not filled with junk. Just some lawn tools, very small amount of gas in the gas can, and some paint (water based).
Mark Schieldrop (Editor) June 13, 2013 at 10:36 AM
Not a meth lab. And Chris12 — I think the warm mower COULD start a fire if there is enough vapor in the air and the exhaust pipe or whatever is hot enough. I've read reports of Ferraris or Lamborghinis catching fire at the gas pup when the owner fills it up when the car had been driven hard on a hot day. The exhaust systems can be incredibly hot. Not to say that a lawnmower is the same as a supercar, but I think it helps explain what could have happened. I'll try to remember to follow up with CFD and see if they determined an exact cause.
Mickey Torgan June 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM
That's why you live in a City where it has the best fire dept. in the state of R.I. Second to none. Yes it could have been a lot worst and the Brother firefighter could have been hurt a lot more. Things happen. Mickey Torgan SR. retired/disabled CFD.
insul8ed June 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Another good reason to buy an electric mower
Jimbo June 13, 2013 at 12:08 PM
This is exactly why the Cranston Firefighters need to have 9/11 as a paid holiday!
Just the Facts June 16, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Really Tim? FDNY doesn't get it as a paid holiday but CFD should?
Somewhere out there June 17, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Somebody's sarcasm detector is broken.

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