We had a low pressure boiler in the back lot.
It was left over from a dry cleaner my dad owned years before.
It had an inspection door that could be lifted.
This was a huge piece of thick steel gear that was lined with bricks.
Dad was trying to sell this thing although I didn't know it at the time.
For some reason one day I threw some gas in there and tossed in a lit match.
There was a satisfying whump.
Over the next few days I kept doing it and getting braver and braver.
I worked up to a considerable amount of gas.
This was all happening in a South Carolina 100 degree plus summer, the boiler was sitting in the sun all day long.
The heat in the boiler was doing a good job of vaporizing the gasoline I was throwing all over the inside, oh yes I had discovered that if you reached inside and scattered the gas really well it would give a better bang.
I was actually getting fuel air explosions contained by the bricks and thick steel walls.
Well one day I was running low on lawn mower gas so I decided to mix some starting fluid with it.
I already knew ether could be sprayed into a spray can top and would collect as a liquid from my experiments anesthetizing frogs.
I mixed a really full spray paint can top of ether with my gasoline and scattered it into the boiler.
I waited the few seconds I normally did and lifted the inspection door and lit my match.
Before the match cleared the door it went WHAMMMMM! the whole thing shook and a jet of fvcking fire flew out.
It looked like a dragon had been pinned inside, red and blue hotter than the surface of the sun.
I swear I thought the thing was going to take off like a rocket!!!!
I wondered for a moment if it was going to hit the house, now that would hard to explain...
The indirect heat from jet of fire handily removed all the hair from my arms and left me with what appeared to be a sunburn (I was fortunately standing to the side)
I heard things falling inside for several seconds after the blast.
I then did what any kid would do, I hauled ass fully prepared to disavow all knowledge of the incident.
Well that experiment was over and since I didn't die I just left things alone.
Several weeks later Dad was complaining at the dinner table that he had a sale for the boiler but when the buyer inspected it all the fire bricks were busted up.
It seems they were broken and there was pile of powder in the bottom where they had crumbled.
I never did tell what had happened, or I would have been getting CPR from mom so he could beat me some more.
What did I learn from this experience?
Ether burns better than gas and is really kool stuff.
One of these days I will tell about my flamethrower experiments.