What a blast
Living green can be dangerous to your health, reports The Associated Press. Perhaps you aspire to drive fewer miles and use less gasoline in your car, and so you decide to try cooking up your own biodiesel. But if you do whip up a batch of cooking oil and wood alcohol or methanol — and heat the blend to 120 degrees or so — watch out! You might burn down your house. That’s been happening in several Western states, including Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Colorado, and although no one has been seriously injured, some fire officials warn it’s only a matter of time. Hundreds of Web sites tout do-it-yourself biodiesel, and it’s a “fun little hobby like making your own beer,” said Lyle Rudensey of Seattle. But Rudensey also advises people to keep a fire extinguisher on hand and store all highly flammable liquids in metal containers. The fires that have reportedly started from cooking biodiesel have been spectacular, spewing clouds of black smoke and quickly wiping out sheds, garages and, sometimes, houses.