Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Fish Smoker Fire

  1. #1
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default Fish Smoker Fire

    My wife was smoking fish last night and heard a funny noise coming from outside. She ran out thinking a bear was getting into the smoker and found it fully ablaze. A couple of fire extinguishers had knocked it down enough that she and the neighbor had time to get the hose hooked up and douse it just as the fire department showed up. The firemen where more bummed about the 15 lbs of silvers that went up in flames than the little fire.

    The smoker was made of 1/4 inch ply wood on a 2x2 frame. It was 5 ft tall and 3 wide by 2 deep. Wife said the flames where 6-8 feet tall coming off the top of it.

    Thanks to my neighbor for coming running when my wife hit the panic button on the car (air) horns and thanks to the guys at the Eagle River fire station for stopping by.

    Smoker Fire.jpg
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  2. #2
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,366

    Default

    Sometimes seared fish can be tasty. Did you bother to check to see if it was still edible? Or did the fire ext.'s contaminate the meat?
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    Any idea what happened? Was this a new smoker or had you used it plenty in the past?
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  4. #4
    Charterboat Operator
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Anchorage AK.
    Posts
    1,057

    Default

    HMMMM,
    blackened smoked salmon basted in extinguisher flour
    glad all turned out all right except for the fish.

  5. #5
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    I built the smoker about 10-12 years ago. It had a cookie sheet in the bottom with a hole cut in in it and an electric burner installed. All the wiring inside the smoker was in metal flex hose. Not sure what caused the fire. I am guessing the pile of chips tipped over and touched the wood or that it was so dry it finally just burst into flames. Either way be careful with you smokers, a good batch of smoked fish is not worth burning down your house.

    Making plans now to rebuild the smoker, plans include a remote fire box and possibly some sheet rock to act as insulation and help keep the fire contained for next time.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    A friend had a similar deal with his home made smoker. What he said, and I believe, is that over the years the plywood get's coated with the tar from smoking, and the plywood get's dried out. What you end up with is a highly flamable combination. Just something you have to replace sooner or later.

    Glad nobody got hurt!
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  7. #7
    Member power drifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Down wind of 2 Glaciers
    Posts
    1,088

    Default

    Good thing it wasn't on a wood deck. Bummer!

  8. #8
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    thats why you should homemake one into a fridge since its got the metal outer.
    Semper Fi!

  9. #9
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,366

    Default

    Graythorn, with the plastics that are in the fridges anymore, I wouldn't make one out of one unless it was 20 years old.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  10. #10
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    Graythorn, with the plastics that are in the fridges anymore, I wouldn't make one out of one unless it was 20 years old.
    well i didnt say to make one outa a brand new fridge did i? use some sense man! some gawd dammm common sense!!!
    Semper Fi!

  11. #11
    Member thewhop2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    2,366

    Default

    Gray, my post was directed at others since you suggested it. I made plenty of smokers back in the 70's in North Pole. Sounds like you have too but I didn't want a seed planted with out bring that up. Some folks might not have figured that out.
    If a dipnetter dips a fish and there is no one around to see/hear it, Did he really dip?

  12. #12
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chasin the ladys! away!
    Posts
    2,507

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thewhop2000 View Post
    Gray, my post was directed at others since you suggested it. I made plenty of smokers back in the 70's in North Pole. Sounds like you have too but I didn't want a seed planted with out bring that up. Some folks might not have figured that out.
    i just like giving you a hard time!
    Semper Fi!

  13. #13
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    A friend had a similar deal with his home made smoker. What he said, and I believe, is that over the years the plywood get's coated with the tar from smoking, and the plywood get's dried out. What you end up with is a highly flamable combination. Just something you have to replace sooner or later.

    Glad nobody got hurt!
    That is exactly what I think happened. The inside of that smoker was black and wood was bone dry. All it took was one little spark from the wood pile and woosh up it went.

    Not sure what I am going to build the new one out of, might use wood and line the bottom foot with aluminum or just use a remote firebox of some kind. Always wanted a true cold smoker anyway. Anyone have a 25 year old fridge laying around?
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  14. #14
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default

    What ever happened to just using a Big Chief smoker and putting an insulator blanket + thermometer on it?

  15. #15
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    Big chiefs don't hold that many fish, and they run too hot to cold smoke.

    Here was my cold smoker before yellow jackets set up house inside of it, and wouldn't leave using friendly means to evict them.



    I'd run the fan to form a nice pellicle, and would run it for a couple days after smoking to dry out the fish to the consistancy I liked. When I'd smoke continuously to sufficiently dry the fish, it had a nasty metalic taste from too much smoke.

    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  16. #16

    Default

    I know some guys who rented a house here in Vancouver that had a smokehouse attached to the garage.

    You guessed it-a month and they'd burned the garage to the ground-the landlord was Not Happy.

  17. #17

    Default

    I used to have a beautiful, almost fireproof cold smoker I made by covering wooden boards with thick clay. It worked great until I got impatient enough to let the fire go out so I could go off hiking for the day, when I came back the smoker was stomped to bits and the contents all eaten up. Never got motivated enough to rebuild it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Here was my cold smoker before yellow jackets set up house inside of it, and wouldn't leave using friendly means to evict them.
    Nice setup Paul. What did you do about the yellow jackets?

    I had a bunch of yellow jackets and wasps one summer and struggled to find a non-toxic solution. Finally, I realized they all sleep at night, so I ran a long extension cord, vacuumed up the entire sleepy nest at dawn, and shoved a rag in the vacuum hose to keep any surviving stragglers from escaping. Later talked with an entomologist who said none likely survived the initial vacuuming, or else they quickly died of dehydration in the bag, and also said to clean the nest area well to remove their pheromone traces or more would likely show up the next year.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •