Fire Expert News

What sparked the Glass Fire?

Determining the origin of a fire is a first step in figuring out how it started, and Cal Fire investigators are set up on the edge of a vineyard owned by Cakebread Cellars north of St. Helena.

“It’s very abnormal to find that many hydrants with low water pressure,” James McMullen, a California-based hydrant expert and consultant, told Motor City Muckraker.

“You have to have a dry hydrant, or it will freeze in the winter and not work because the passageway is blocked by ice,” McMullen said. “So it’s very critical that those hydrants are maintained.”

At 10 p.m. he collapsed by a swimming pool with about 6 inches of water left. “We were going to stand our ground, and we decided to fight,” he said.

The story brought a shudder from James McMullen, a former California state fire marshal who runs a fire consulting business in Davis.

“Some people don’t realize how intense a wildfire is and they say, ‘Oh, I’ll just stay here with my garden hose and leap up on the roof, and yet that’s the worst thing they can do,'” he said.


Northern California Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Spill Investigation.
South Carolina High Piled Storage Fire Investigation.

For additional information go to Case Summaries.