‘Explosive’ antique fire extinguisher destroyed

The antique fire extinguisher was destroyed. Picture: Greg Macvean
The antique fire extinguisher was destroyed. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Bomb disposal experts have destroyed potentially explosive antiques thought to be from the Second World War for a second night in a row.

A man called firefighters after finding three selfac fire extinguishers in the attic of his house in Carberry Road, Inveresk, just outside Musselburgh.

Officers contacted police and the bomb disposal team from the Royal Logistics Corps and a cordon was erected around the property while the disposal team removed the devices to a nearby field to be destroyed at around 8pm yesterday.

Many selfac extinguishers were distributed during the Second World War. They are canisters containing bicarbonate of soda and a central explosive charge.

Dangers

They were often placed in roof spaces, and used to contain fires by dispersing the fire retardant powder over the flames when triggered by intense heat.

A man handed over one of the extinguishers to officers in Musselburgh fire station on Tuesday after being told it could be dangerous.

The fire service believe last night’s call was triggered by reports about the dangers of selfac extinguishers from the previous day.

A spokesman said: “The one that was brought to Musselburgh station on Tuesday was the first we had seen for a while but it seems to have brought them to public attention and this man realised he had some in his attic.

“They’re quite common in older houses as they date back to the 1940s and the Second World War so there are probably more still out there.

“The main thing is no one is injured and if anyone realises they have a selfac in their home or stored as war memorabilia they should contact the fire service and we will take care of it because they remain dangerous.”

The three devices were destroyed safely and no-one was injured, the service said.