TYLER (KYTX) - A warning about lacquer thinner and other flammable paint products. This comes after a home explosion in Tyler Wednesday that injured three people. Fire investigators say the explosion happened after something ignited lacquer thinner fumes.
"The moisture just keeps it down, but on a warm day, the fumes dissipate faster and go away faster." says Bobby Preast, president of East Texas Paint and Coatings in Tyler.
He says these kinds of fires happen more often than we think.
"I've been doing this for about, almost 40 years now. And, there's been a lot of lacquer incidences."
He's heard horror stories about customers' paint projects gone wrong.
"Walked in the door, the gentleman flipped the light switch on, and the house blew up and burned him, killed him instantly. And then, the two boys were just walking into the door and it blew them out of the house."
Painter, Mike Johnson, says that's why proper ventilation is so important.
"Normally we have fans that blow and open windows. The guy yesterday- I don't know what he did, but we're pretty safe about it."
Another potential fire starter is with any paint product on them. Preast says you don't want to ball them up after you use them. Put them in a water-filled, closed metal container to avoid what's called "spontaneous combustion."
"When it's wadded up and tight," says Preast, "the solvents in there, with the heat, gets hotter and hotter and just burst into fla- starts smoking first, and finally burst into flame."
"I've seen rags piled up catch fire on their own." says Johnson.
But, Johnson says you can avoid most close calls by keeping air moving through your home and not working next to hot water heaters and open flames.
Fumes from paint products are not only flammable, they're also dangerous to breathe in. If there's no air circulating, you can get a headache, pass out, or even die from breathing in heavy fumes for too long.