Thread: Durango CO fire

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    Default Durango CO fire

    Does anyone know if the gas was identified that ignited in the Durango CO restaurant fire ???

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    Nothing has been stated yet. NIOSH was supposed to be there on Friday. The investigators have asked civilians to send any video or still photos they may have taken, to assist in the investigation. It is stated they are looking at either a backdraft or natural gas explosion. A crane is supposed to remove the hood system, where they believe the origin is, this week.
    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
    Andy Fredericks,
    FDNY E.48, SQ.18
    Alexandria, VA F.D.

    Rest in Peace

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarey View Post
    Nothing has been stated yet. NIOSH was supposed to be there on Friday. The investigators have asked civilians to send any video or still photos they may have taken, to assist in the investigation. It is stated they are looking at either a backdraft or natural gas explosion. A crane is supposed to remove the hood system, where they believe the origin is, this week.
    Thank You for the information. I am closely involved in the Boston, (West Roxbury) fire where 2 members died in the line of duty and I am curious to see if this could also be Carbon monoxide as well although my hunch tells me it will be natural gas. Both fires seem eerily similar. Thanks again.

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    Edward Hartin's Avatar
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    Default CO and Backdraft

    It is a common misconception that CO is a major factor in backdraft. However, the this extreme fire behavior phenomena generally involves unburned pyrolysis products as a larger component of the fuel involved.

    Hopefully civilian video and photos and interviews with responders and civilians will provide some insight into this event.

    Cheers,
    Ed Hartin, MS, EFO, MIFireE

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    I have a little info. Right now I'm in Telluride,CO on vacation. I spoke to friends with the FD here who have friends there. Of the three buildings involved they managed to find two outside services and shut them. The third was covered in a few feet of snow and they couldn't get to it. The thought as of now is it was gas from the third meter that did it. One Deputy Chief supervising roof ops thrown from the roof considerably injured and several others not as bad. All expected to be OK...Don't ask me why I'm looking here when I'm on vacation skiing.

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    NIOSH came in on Monday and met with the fire departments involved, they also met with the communications director of the dispatch center and listened to all the radio traffic related to the events.
    I was on one of the engines that was called in from another department. We arrived after the explosion. After checking in at command myself and another firefighter were assigned to dig out the gas line being the Tshirt shop and turn off the gas. The gas lines we attached the the back of the building and were under the eave of one of the restaurants. With all the snow we had been getting the business had been shoveling off their roofs, unfortunatly they pushed the snow off the roof and onto the gas lines and the meter. When we got down to the lower patio we started digging for the lines, it was under 4-5 feet of packed snow. We were eventually able to access and turn off the last gas meter for the building.

    I am very interested to see what the decide about the cause of the fire.

    Here is the most recent article, three of the firefighters are still not clear to return to work.

    Owners regain their buildings
    Workers remove the hood system where fire believed to have started


    March 5, 2008
    By Shane Benjamin | Herald Staff Writer

    Eleven days after fire destroyed three buildings on Main Avenue, firefighters Tuesday returned control of the charred remains to their owners.


    JERRY McBRIDE/Herald
    Workers prepare to remove the stove hood using a crane from the rubble of Seasons Rotisserie & Grill on Tuesday. The removal is done in conjunction with the inspection into the fire’s cause. Firefighters on Tuesday also returned control of the buildings to their owners.


    The owners now must work with the city of Durango to begin demolition and redevelopment.

    Also Tuesday, a large hood system where the fire is believed to have started was removed from the rubble at Seasons Rotisserie & Grill. The exhaust system was loaded onto a flatbed trailer to be carted away for additional examination.

    Farmers Insurance paid to have the hood system removed.

    Fire investigators have been sifting through the ashes to determine what conditions existed before last month's fire, said Dan Noonan, chief of the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority. While fire is an ultimate consumer, it usually leaves signs of how it sparked, he said.

    That is what insurance companies and firefighters hope to find from a closer inspection of the kitchen stove hood system.

    "Every fire is an opportunity to strengthen prevention," Noonan said.

    A separate investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of an explosion during the Feb. 22 fire. Nine firefighters were injured in the explosion, Noonan said. As of Tuesday, three of those firefighters had not yet been cleared to return to work.

    "If I knew it was going to occur, I wouldn't have had anybody on the roof," Noonan said. "It just exacerbated an already bad situation."

    Noonan invited the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to assist with the investigation into why the explosion occurred at Le Rendezvous Swiss Bakery.

    Determining how the blast occurred will help firefighters avoid similar situations in the future, said Dave Abercrombie, spokesman for the fire department.

    "It does have a psychological impact," he said. "That's as close as any one of us wants to come to having a fatality."

    A large part of DFRA's job is to inspect buildings and ensure fire codes are followed, Noonan said. If business owners install new equipment, they should consult with the fire department to ensure proper safety, he said.

    And if building owners do additions or modifications, they too should consult the fire department.

    "When any component is installed in your business, we want to make sure it is installed correctly," Noonan said.
    "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all"

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    They determined that it started in the hood system, just like the Boston fire.

    http://kjct8.com/Global/story.asp?S=8047017

    Durango fire started in hood system of restaurant

    Posted: March 20, 2008 12:30 PM

    Updated: March 21, 2008 09:39 AM

    DURANGO, Colo. (KJCT) - We finally know what sparked a massive fire in Durango that ripped through historic downtown.

    Fire Marshal Tom Kaufman says, the fire in the 700 block of Main Avenue on February 22 originated above the hood system at Season's restaurant.

    That's one of the three buildings destroyed.

    He says the hood over the wood fired grill and deep fat fryer area was separated from the rest of the hood by a partition wall in the hood.

    The fire moved into the duct work, then to the roof area.

    He ruled this duct work was not installed in accordance with guidelines.

    While the fire suppression system in the hood activated, it was unable to stop or hold the fire.

    Also, the attics over Seasons and Half Priced Tees had no fire separation, thus creating a common attic that allowed the fire to move from the building of origin to the adjacent building.

    Damage is estimated at $4.5 million.

    The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
    Matt Bryan
    The Grease Police
    http://thegreasepolice.org/firehazard.html

    "This exhaust cleaning service has long suffered from an inconsistent and shoddy level of workmanship,
    leaving both Authority Having Jurisdictions and restaurant owners unsure of what sort of service has been performed." - Phil Ackland

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    Default Caused Identified

    Faulty duct cause of Main Ave. fire

    DFRA says Seasons hood system violated uniform code, not fire code
    March 21, 2008
    By Ted Holteen | Herald Staff Writer

    Faulty duct work at Seasons Rotisserie & Grill is to blame for the Feb. 22 fire that destroyed three buildings in downtown Durango, the Durango Fire & Rescue Authority announced Thursday.

    Tom Kaufman, DFRA fire marshal, said the fire started in Seasons in the hood over the wood-fired grill and deep-fryer area. Flames then moved into duct work that was improperly installed. Although the fire-suppression system in the hood activated, it was unable to stop or hold the fire, Kaufman said.

    The blaze in the 700 block of Main Avenue destroyed Seasons, Half-Price Tees and Le Rendezvous Swiss Bakery and Café. Nine firefighters were injured fighting the fire, which included an explosion that blew out the front of Le Rendezvous.

    Seasons opened in 1994 under founder Roger Roessler. It was not known when the hood system was installed.

    Kaufman's investigation found that while the duct work did not violate the fire code, it was installed in violation of the city's 1991 Uniform Mechanical Code. The duct was installed 6 inches from combustible paneling, but the code prescribes 18 inches of clearance. The paneling in the concealed wall and attic space ignited from either radiant heat from the duct, a hole in the duct or both.

    Once the fire started in Seasons' attic, it spread quickly to the neighboring Half-Price Tees building because there was no separation between the attics of the two buildings. The lack of a separating wall was not a code violation because no codes were in effect at the time the buildings were constructed in the late 1890s, according to the investigation.
    Kaufman said the DFRA's investigation is now complete.

    "From here, it's up to the attorneys to figure out," Kaufman said. "There's nothing I can do because it's a city code violation."

    Durango building inspector Alvie Moore and Planning Director Greg Hoch said they hadn't seen a copy of Kaufman's report and declined comment until they are able to read it.

    Kaufman said a separate investigation is being conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, which will cover the cause of the explosion that destroyed the neighboring building that housed Le Rendezvous. He said because NIOSH will conduct laboratory and scale model test re-creations of the explosion, the results of the NIOSH investigation aren't expected for six to nine months.

    "They do a lot of research before they issue a report, and right now all that stuff (the hood and duct) is sitting in a Denver warehouse," Kaufman said.

    Click here to send an email to the author
    "If you put the fire out right in the first place, you won't have to jump out the window."
    Andy Fredericks,
    FDNY E.48, SQ.18
    Alexandria, VA F.D.

    Rest in Peace

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