Bent Steel In Building Fires


Senior Member.
Here's a video showing bent steel beams from the CA fires, and claiming "normal" wildland/house/car fires could never have done this.
(0riginal video he uses...)

(his voice is interesting, I actually kinda like it in a weird way.)
But here's how he's wrong.....(or jumping over typicality).

The video mostly focuses on a burnt stake-bed truck (a flatbed truck with removable wooden sides or "gates").
He claims that the "bent" metal on the truck bed could have never bent that way in a typical fire, so it had to be some sort of "DEW".
The long right-side outside bar (bed frame) does look bent. The horizontal bed-strut supports are also bent and somewhat twisted. (these are thinner metal).
The left outside bar is not bent.

We don't know what was loaded on the truck's bed before the fire, nor does he.
I've seen bent flatbeds before (working, with no fires) but I don't know about this truck.
Since the fuel tanks are below the bend, the square steel bar could have reached the temps that would cause the steel to bend from burning fuel and heat, especially if there was a load on it.
Looking at the steel/ un-burnt items remaining on the truck, there are various items.

It is an assumption of mine, that there was much more material loaded on the truck before/during the fire. We see some scrap steel bars, 2 steel junction/electrical boxes, and some unknowns. It looks like a truck that hauled junk for recycling. (these are very common in So Cal). If the truck had a flammable load, this could have have contributed to the structural bend (weight), given the heat from fire.

Regarding the bent/twisted cross-members.... It was likely a wood plank bed, affixed by screws.
As wood burns, it shrinks, and could have twisted the metal the wood was affixed-to, with fire(heat) to aid in bending.

The video also mentions "We don't see any shattered glass", but we clearly see glass remnants upon the doors and windshield. It's just that the camera does not sift through the to why we don't see more. This is typical vehicle fire behavior and results. His suggestion that a "magnetic weapon" may have caused this, but glass is not magnetic.

Then he goes on to showing bent I-beams in house fire aftermaths.
Heat from a house fire can reach temps to weaken steel... ...not to mention the weight exerted on it as it fell.
He says, "House fires do not get hot enough to do that" (bend steel)
Last edited:


New Member
I've worked on a few structural evaluations in both wood and steel framed buildings. I can assure anyone who doubts it that normal fires can bend steel and in some cases wood structures endure short fires better, though the timbers in that case were massive, true 12" x 8" timbers cut from a single tree. The building was quite old, mid-50s or so.
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