Myron M. Kinley

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Myron M. Kinley was the first pioneer in fighting oil well fires. He was born in Santa Barbara, California in 1898 and died May 12, 1978.

During Myron’s life he developed many patents and designs for the tools and techniques of oil firefighting. He also trained others in their use, including legendary Red Adair, Boots Hansen and Coots Mathews (Boots & Coots). Virtually every organization in the oil well firefighting business today can trace its roots back to Myron Kinley and the MM Kinley Company.

Myron's father Karl T. Kinley was an oil well shooter in California; Karl dynamited wells to fracture the rock and to increase flow. In 1913, faced with a roaring fire resulting from a blowout, Karl tried blowing it out with a giant "puff" of dynamite. It worked and remains a common technique for fighting oil fires.

Young Myron, who helped with the first shot, went on to develop the business of oil well firefighting, and essentially established the industry. Although it was lucrative, it had its risks. Myron’s brother, Floyd Kinley died March 12, 1938 from injuries at a Goliad, Texas blowout accident. Floyd Kinley was born November 28, 1904 in Bundrage, California. Myron’s right leg was permanently injured in late 1936 at the Bay City fire. Myron was also severely burned in an accident in Venezuela in 1945. Myron survived many incidents and died at home in Chickasha, Oklahoma on May 12, 1978.

Myron’s parents; Karl T. Kinley and Katherine Rose Scholl were married...
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