A fifty-nine year old man in Taylor Mill, Kentucky got an unpleasant surprise on Saturday, December 8 while painting his home, and smoking a cigarette. A stray spark set off a violent explosion, blowing the back porch and most of the roof completely off of the structure. When interviewed, the gentleman declined to give his name, due to extreme embarrassment. These are his words.
"I was at the hardware store, and I needed two cans of yellow paint to do my house with.
The only two they had was different brands.
The clerk said I probably shouldn't mix them, cause there could be a chemical reaction, but I was in a hurry so I did it anyway. I never thought I would make a bomb! I blew my whole house to hell!"
It turned out that one can of paint contained nitrates as stabilizers, and the other contained toluene, a thinner. When he mixed them, a chemical reaction occurred producing Tri-Nitro Toluene, T-N-T. One spark from his cigarette was all it took to detonate this volatile mixture. With second and third degree burns on his face and chest, he now knows he should have listened to the clerk who warned him not to mix paints.