Dousing flames with corn starch slime! Firefighters got a look Tuesday at this new way to combat major outbreaks.
The crew at this East Travis County Fire Station spent Tuesday morning settings fires.
They torched sections of a house siding in order to put a new fire suppression system to the test.
"We really didn't know what to expect this was something our fire chief, while attending the National Fire Chief's Conference in Denver came across a week ago," said Travis County ESD Captain Von Beals
Doug Ruth is spending a lot of time showing off his new product called Tetra-KO.
"We believe it is a total breakthrough in firefighting," said Ruth.
This break through, is made from cornstarch. Initially as a powder, when mixed with water it becomes a gel. It's similar to the gooie hand-sanitizer you may have in your home or office.
In the demonstration, straw that is set on fire burns through unprotected wood siding.
"You can see when they knocked down the fire, the gel actually stuck to the hot heat structure and this would not re-ignite now," said Ruth.
Sections that were completely covered in the slime like substance are singed but did not burn. Even cotton placed in an attic vent fails to catch fire.
"What happens is it creates a fire suppression barrier that won't fall to the ground. Think about it, water causes a lot of damage in house fires this sticks and stays takes all the fuel out of the fire and quickly knocks down a fire," said Ruth.
A promotional video shows how the gel not only works on house fires. It can also cut off and extinguish wildfires. Company officials claim it is cheaper than traditional foam, last longer, doesn't clog up pumps or hoses, and is non-toxic.
The promise of what the gel can do may be found in the ruins from the Bastrop Complex fires. The flames that swept through here left behind some very harsh lessons.
Strong winds fed fires that race though the Lost Pines and consumed more than a thousand homes. While basic property management techniques can create buffer zones, this new spray gel may also provide fire fighters a better defensive foothold to withstand the next fire storm.
"It gives us one more tool in our arsenal to fight fires effectively," said Beals.