Would someone snap a picture of a properly adjusted gas range and send it to Jon? In a conventional fire, where only organic materials are burning, the products of complete combustion are only carbon dioxide and water. The real world being imperfect, complete combustion is rarely seen outside of engineered appliances like stoves and water heaters. Incomplete combustion produces smoke and carbon monoxide. Smoke is mostly simply vaporized but unburnt fuel, it and carbon monoxide continue to be flammable. Smoke may also contain atomized particles of non-flammable materials involved in the fire and also chemical emmisions from non-organic elements of items in the fire.
Having explained all this, it should be pointed out that while the scenes showing the firefighters during interior attack are unrealistic in terms of the lack of heavy smoke (artistic license to make a more interesting movie), they did indeed respond to several smokey fires... it's the smoke that does the burning and exploding in a backdraft!
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OK. First of all, smoke is not a sign of an improperly burning fire. I don't know where you came up with this one. Smoke is the waste products, or the unburned gases and particles that aren't effected by the chemical reaction that's taking place, that produces the radiant energy (the flame part) or the visual part of fire. There is no such thing as fire that doesn't produce smoke. But if you ever come across one please email me a picture. I'd love to see it. As I'm sure the rest of my department would.
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