I myself was almost in the same boat as Tad. I had used my small garage as my shell making area but I didn't store any made materials within the garage. I had been making stars the previous week or two and had also just made up about 25# of homemade lift charge for my shells. This was already on rice hulls so it filled up a garbage bag full.
I came into my garage to do something and stepped on a star that had errantly gotten on the floor which immediately took fire. I noticed which direction that it was pointing to and closed my eyes and ran for the door. I was no more than 10 feet from the door which was closed when the I heard the worst noise ever in my life. I was in the garage for no more that 2 to 3 seconds before I was out the door rolling on the ground trying to put out the fire that was on the back of my shirt.
The fire from the star ignited the rice hull and bp mixture which filled the garage with fire engulfing me. I sustained 3rd degree burns to both arms to the elbow. Burned of a good majority of my hair, which I had the burn unit shave me bald, burns on my back 2nd degree. They took skin grafts from my legs to fix my arms.
The garage sustained major burns but didn't explode since I wasn't playing with flash or anything like. All 100# of my stars burnt up as well as about $5000 worth of chemicals but I am still here.
This happened February 28th, 2006.
Thanks for sharing that. Do you mind if I keep a copy of that post and use it in safety discussions ? I would attribute it to "an anonymous pyrotechnician".