YUKON — The paint was peeling and the air bags were popping Thursday as officials from Cold Fire set a car ablaze at the Yukon Fire Department.
The car fire was part of a demonstration the company conducted for firefighters, law enforcement agencies and companies like Chesapeake Energy. The maroon car was sacrificed to show how quickly Cold Fire can extinguish a fire.
The fire that melted the interior of the car and caused the roof to buckle was put out in seconds.
Cold Fire is a plant-based liquid fire suppression chemical that undergoes a reaction to heat that causes the chemical to absorb it.
To demonstrate, a Cold Fire employee wrapped his hand in a Cold Fire soaked towel and held burning magnesium.
Cold Fire President Thom Payson said the chemical is biodegradable and doesn't require special clean up after use, as is the case with some fire suppression chemicals.
“You can even drink it, but it won't taste very good,” he said.
Payson said most law enforcement agencies and fire departments still use older dry chemical extinguishers that he said are often ineffective at putting out fires.
“If you think back to how police cars looked 30 years ago, and look at them now you can see quite a bit has changed from a technological standpoint,” he said. “But in most of those cars is a fire extinguisher that is essentially the same thing people were using decades ago.”
Payson said its application goes well beyond fire departments. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has outfitted its cars with Cold Fire and it was used by Shawnee police during a rescue last month.
In that incident, a man was trapped under his vehicle after he was thrown from it. A fire started in the grass while rescuers attempted to get him out from under the car. While doing that, they doused the man with Cold Fire to protect him in case it spread.