Colorado firefighter invents exploding ‘Fireball’ device that could save lives

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LARKSPUR, Colo. -- After seeing so many preventable fires, former firefighter and Larkspur resident Grant Van Der Jagt said enough was enough.

"The trauma of firefighters seeing death, seeing something that was preventable, it haunts you. It's something that lives with you," he said.

Van Der Jagt developed the Fireball. He said the cantaloupe-sized ball is an "airbag for the oven."

He says it can extinguish a fire in seconds.

Van Der Jagt said a group of firefighters worked together in an attempt to find a solution to help prevent common kinds of fires.

The Fireball melts the ball and in seconds it explodes.

“The Fireball shifts the atmospheric pressure. So the fire is further away from its source when it’s hit. Then, it’s smothered with the powder," Van Der Jagt said.

South Metro Fire Rescue spokesman Eric Hurst says his department does not comment on fire suppression products, but when it comes to fires, Hurst says the first line of defense is working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.

"In the seconds following the discovery of a fire, there’s not a lot of time for a person to safely escape their home before things can get extremely hazardous for them," Hurst said.

Van Der Jagt believes his fireball can help too.

Heather Person says it’s made a big difference in her life and she knows the dangers of fires all too well.

Person was in a hospital's burn unit for almost a month with third-degree burns after a can of paint near her barbecue pit exploded in her backyard while she was grilling.

“The neighbor said I was in a ball of fire that was 10 by 10 by 10," Person said.

She now suffers from PTSD and could not wait to put a Fireball in her home.

“It makes me feel a little bit better that I can take something and at least get the fire out quickly because I always worry about fires. It makes me nervous when I have anything to do with them," Pearson said.

Van Der Jagt said the devices should be be placed where risks are the highest - places like stoves and driers. He is now planning on producing more of the Fireball in Larkspur.

Van  Der Jagt is no longer a firefighter, but is still on a mission to try to help save lives.

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