Methanol in tire burns shop down

Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:46 am

A locally owned tire store burned near here (Franklin County) yesterday. Reportedly the owner was changing a tractor tire and the tire was loaded with methanol. The methanol, unexpectedly sprayed or leaked out and caught fire (cigarette?). No one was seriously injured but the building was heavily damaged.

Some questions arise.
What is methanol doing in a tractor tire? One news story said it was an old tire.
Alcohol and water is old school antifreeze, so old tire makes sense, could it be a new one from china?
Does this stuff burn even when diluted with water?
Did the guy not have a clue what was in the tire?
Even though methanol lights off easy there had to be a open flame, reasonable to assume he was smoking.
Ethylene glycol has got to be cheaper than methanol, and wont rust out the rims, so maybe it was an old tire?

"When you are on fire, and running down the street, people will get out of your way" Richard Pryor

Re: Methanol in tire burns shop down

Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:43 am

It must have been pure alcohol, the flash point is reduced when water is added. Usualy 50% water is added to the methanol. Alcohol is cheaper than glycol for tires.
I wonder if this guy was trying the starting fluid trick to seat the bead.

Re: Methanol in tire burns shop down

Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:04 pm

In my travels over the week end I happened by there. Man the shop is ruined. Its a old converted service station and the only part standing is the block walls in the office section and some of that roof. Totaled I would say. Lesson learned, if you are not sure what is in that tire squirt a little and sniff.