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Publication numberUS924599 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 8, 1909
Filing dateDec 24, 1908
Priority dateDec 24, 1908
Publication numberUS 924599 A, US 924599A, US-A-924599, US924599 A, US924599A
InventorsFrank T Byers
Original AssigneeFrank T Byers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of extinguishing fires in mines.
US 924599 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)


vPfjlwntefi June8,1909

APPLICATION FILED' DEO rnrnur onirica,



Specification of Letters Patent. Application filed December 2g, 1908.

Patented June 8, 1908. Serial No. 469,155.

To all whom it may concern.'

Bo it known that I, FRANK T, Brisas, a citizenof the United States, residing at Mount Pleasant, in the county of Westmoreland and State of Pennsylvania, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Methods of Extinguishing Fires in Mines, of which the following is a specification.

My invention relates-to the'preventi'on of mine disasters, and particularly to a method of extinguishing fires in any portion of a mine and preventing the spread of fire from one portion or compartment to'another.

The objects of my invention are to reduce to miners, and especially to those` the danger employed. in operating coal mines in which there is danger ot' 'fires due to the explosion dust, and when l of fire-damp and the walls and rool' and start of fire-damp or other gases and from the fine dust which Amay be present therein. The danger of fires from such explosions has been very greatly increased by the introduction of machinery for the cutting of coal, the use of gunpowder or other blasting compounds which' are used inthrowing down the coal from the face of the rooms or passages, and also the introduction of electricity for lighting and power urposes. The cutting inachinery causes a suiilcient amount has accumulated a dangerous mixturcresults. Great danger also arises from the caused by the explosion of charges, for these are not only liable by the shock they produce in the atmosphere of the workings to call forth an unexpected rush of iire-damp but also can ignite the clouds of dust which this very commotion has raised, and in this way can-bring about terrible catastrophies, even while in consequence of the apparent absence 'of tire-damp one may,thinkl'iimself `quite safe. Sparks arealso engendered by the crossing of the conductors carrying electricity through the mines which are a 'rcquent cause of explosions or iii-es. l

The great disturbing and .jarring eilect exerted by the discharge ol' large amounts ol' explosives in a mine, as well as the explosions coal-dust, greatly weaken cracks, so that months after the blast, without warning, the slate or lining ofthe roof falls. Moreover, these cracks frequently open up gas Wells or feeders of gas which become ignited and start a mine ire. These iiros are sometimes ignited by the explosives used in blasting out the coal. and sometimesare caused from the arge quantities of iine coalviolent llamesv [naked lights used by the miners. In any event, inine tires may be brought under control much more readily when immediate eliorts are made to combat them.

My present invention provides a method of immediately attaching a iire which. may have broken out in some portion of the mine and of rapidly bringing the same. under control. and extinguishing it.

For 'the purpose of illustrating` one arrangement by which my invention may be carried out,` and for the purpose of more clearly describing my method of combating and extinguishing mine iires, reference is made to the accompanying drawings', in which Figure 1 illustrates a horizontal section through the headings and rooms of a mine, showing one arrangement 'for carrying out my invention; and Fig, 2 is a detail view of the entrance to the mine or to a heading, showing one form of a doorby whichthe headings may be sealed. y

An exhaust pump l, together with an operating engine or` other motor 2, or other exhausting apparatus, may be conveniently located in a room 3 excavated for this purpose at the bottom of the shaft 4, or said eX- `hausting apparatus may be located outside ol' the mine in convenient proximity to the mine shaft. Entranceis obtained 'into the mine through the main heading 5, from which branch headings 6, 7, lead to theysrious rooms 8 out into the face of the coal vein, the coal being removed from the ends ol these rooms in which cutting machinery is located. Fans or blowers are usually placed at the entrances of the several headings lor the purpose of supplying fresh air l and Ventilating the rooms, but it has been found impossible by these means to reuiove j the dust and gases which accumulate in the inner ends of the rooms, and this accumulation results in the explosive niixtu'res which endanger the lives ol' the .miners as Well as the property of the mine,` and lead to the explosions and the `disastrous which follow.

l have shown cutting machinery in oper- A branch pipel-i may lead into a chamber 15,'provided with baitlic i a system oi' pipes l0 leadingy y from the exhaust pump and' having branches plates lo, lroin which a pipe i7 connects with the main exhaust pipe lo. .ltrch olY the branch pipes may provided with a threethe headings. l have, illustrated these doors, shown in detail in l1 igt 22, as arranged to slide vertier in "ibuable traine, and Ywhen in the open position they are dropped into a pit or 'well e yn ling below the lloor ol the heading. linen a car tiacli passes along the heading, top ol' the door inay carry short sections ol rail 22, tract: may be unbroken when the door is in its lower position. i have shown these doors as sliding yertically and balanced by suitable weights 123, but this is nierely l'or the purpose el illustration, since any convenient type ol' door may be used. lil/'bile l have not deemed it necessary to illust 'ate any particular manner o'i' operatii'ig these doors, it is obvious that instead ol' raising and lowerin g them manually, l niay operate them pneuniatically or by nie-ans oll cle tric motors in the manner employed in operating bulli-head doors. it will also he understood by engineers and. others skilled iii the art that when piieuniatically or electrically operated doors are enuiloyed, the operation thcreoll niay be. cifiiitrolled ironi. a distance, as at the entrance to the nunc.

ln order that l may introduce steam and afterward air into the seiferal headings and rooms, l may arrange a second system ol' piping, although it will be evident that l might utilize the system oll piping already described when the saine was not being used to exhaust the air l'roin the headings. .l have therel'ore shown a main pipe 225 leading from the entrance through the inaiii heading 5, and having brani-.h pipes 2G iliassing into the several headings and l'roin which the branches 27 lead into the several iooins. As iii the previously described systen'i ol' piping, the branch pipe may be cut ol'l by means ol tl1i'ee\\'a.y Valves 2S. By iiieans ol valves .5 and 3i., the main pipe :Z5 may be connected either with the exhaust steam pipe 32 ol the engine or with the inlet air pipe 33 opening into the shalt.

l will non' describe the operation ol niy method ol combating and extinguishing lires. When a lire is discovered in any heading, the entrance thereto is sealed by closing the corresponding door 2U, and opening the valve lo connecting the branch pipe with the niain exhaust pipe l0. 'l'he exhaust pump l being in operation will immediately so that the begin to reduce the atmospheric pressure;

in the sealed heading, and uithdrav.' the air which supports combustion. 'lhis will shortly have an ell'r-ct in reducing the lire, inasmuch as no l'i-esh air is allowed to enter. the pipe 25 at this time being closed by the valves 30, 553i. This would eventually extinguish the lire, but in order to hasten the action l now connect the pipe 25 with u source olV steam supply, which may be the exhaust steam pipe 32, and open the valve leading into that particular heading. The siriani which is thus lcd into the inner ends ol' the rooins where the Vlire has started will co'iperate with the reduced air supplyto quickly extinguish all traces oliire.

ll it is desired to send miners into the heading which is being operated upon, in order that they inay assist in combating tini tire with implements or other apparatus, or l'or the purpose ot' rescuing any victims who have been caughttherein, this niay be accomplished by providing a pair ol doors at the entrance to the headings, leaving a small space 35 between the doors sullicient to admit of a person standing therein. blow by .leaving the inner ol' these doors closed and then closing down the 'outer door, a person may then raise the inner door and enter the heading Without having disturbed or interle red with the reduced pressure in the heading to any considerable extent.

lt is well known that miners may be pro vided with suitable helmets carrying small tanks ol compressed air or compressed oxygen, or sonic chemical appliance for generating a` supply ol' oxygen, so as to enable a person to enter niine workings and reinain lor a cinisiderable period.

,.is l have previously explained, the shocks and jarring troni the explosions ol' the blasting compounds, l'requently loosen portions ol' the wall or the slate in the root' through which hidden gases may escape, and these feederset' gas may become ignited. It also frequently happens that loosened ortions of the Wall or root' may tall at sonic ater time. Non' iny method ol' combating tires also iissists in overcoming these difficulties by withdrawing the gases which have been started by the shocks, and the gases which are Occluded in the various creyices ol' the Walls. Furtherinore, the reduction in the pressure of atmosphere within the mine results in pulling out the loosened slate or slabs or portions of the rool' and wall, thereby preventing accidents and. resulting in greater safety to the miners.

l have shown the settling chamber l5 pr0- vided with doors. Instead of exhausting the air and gases thro gh the 'pipes l() and branch pipes 12, the doors 2() at the entrances to the headings may be opened and also the door 2l leading to the settling chamber, whereby the exhaust will pass i'roin the headings into the main passage 5, and through the chamber l5 which is connected with the exhaust punipby means ol' the pipe 17.



' branch pipe 1 is I have previously explained, I may dis pense with the second system of piping and utilize the same pipes employed to exhaust the air for the purpose of introducing steam, and afterward, if desired, to introduce air under atmospheric or other pressure into the inner headings. *For this purpose, I have shown a pipe l connecting with the main pipe 10. mospheric pressure has been reduced in the mine by the operation oi the exhaust pump '."lt, thethree-way valve may be operated to .Shut oft the pump and connect the pipo l() with thesteam pipe 32, whereby steam will pass into the mme through the sald plpe and lts branches,gleading into any desired head-' ing or headings.

, .n order to equalize the pressure in the mine after the fire has been, extinguished and before the doors are opened, the pipe lO'niay be'connected with the air inlet pipe 33 hy Ameans of the valve' 3l. j In some cases 1t may be desirable to dispense with thel 'system of piping through the mine, and with this in view, I have shown a Oa -hranching from the pipe near the yentrance to the mine and controlled by a valve 36. In this manner the air pressure may be reduced within the mine without necessitating the installation of a system oi v piping extending through the mine, as in the drawings. V

Having 'thus described my invention and It will be seen that after the atan arrangement of apparatus by' which the same may he carried out, I claim as new and A gree and introducing steam or vapor therein. y

2. 'ihe method of extinguishing hres in mineswhich consists in sealing the entrance thereto, withdrawing therefrom portions of the combustion, and introducing st'eam or vapor therein.

3. mines and removing the products thereof, which consists in sealing the entrance thereto, withdrawing therefrom portions ofthe atmosphere and gases which support combustion, introducing steam yor va or therein, and finally introducing airat a liigher pressure and causing the resulting drafts to drive out the remaining gases and impurities.

In testimony whereof I ai'iix my signature, in presence oi' two-witnesses.

DAVID Qrnas, EDGAR M Bruns.

atmosphere and gases which support The method of extinguishing iires `1n

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3173489 *Oct 29, 1962Mar 16, 1965Yawata Iron & Steel CoMethod of preventing explosions in waste gas recovery systems for oxygen top-blowing converters
US5909777 *Oct 31, 1997Jun 8, 1999Jamison Family TrustMethod and apparatus for stopping the spread of a fire in an underground mine
US6196765 *Nov 6, 1998Mar 6, 2001Joseph G. HarringtonInhibiting acid mine drainage by displacing oxygen in rock heap
US6435769Mar 6, 2001Aug 20, 2002Joseph G. HarringtonGas-phase modification in earth materials
US8833479Jun 26, 2008Sep 16, 2014Pillar Innovations, LLCFire suppression system
WO2000027553A1 *Nov 4, 1999May 18, 2000Harrington Joseph GGas-phase modification in earth materials
Cooperative ClassificationA62C3/06