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    Default Fires at Wendys?

    Last night, we had a report of a grill fire at our local Wendy's.

    The fire was in the grill contols, located under the unit. There was no way the kitchen supression system would have tripped.

    The fire was caused by a grease buildup. A call to the Board of Health's on call inspector, shut off the power. a quick blast of dry chem, then venting the area via PPV did the trick.

    This is the second time it has happened.. .as a matter of fact, almost a year to the day.. and yes, my group was working again.

    Has anyone has similar problems with a Wendy's in their districts?
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    Yeah Chief:

    Had the same thing when I was on our Rescue. Wendy's was next door. I was in that house 6 years, my shift went over twice for those fires. Both times one of the managers sent a kid over to knock on the door and have us come over. Both times knocked down just like you said, quick shot of dry chem and done. Didn't have to vent the building, we'd crank the grill exhaust system right after we hit it with the dry chem. No muss, no fuss. Manager thankful, free Frosty's all around.

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    Same story - went to one of them and asked the manager to have the steam cleaners be sure to get everything next time. Haven't been back.

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    Not Wendy's, but we have a number of Asian restaurants in my district and had much the same scenario. With the same lack of activation of the ansul system.
    Needless to say, we are getting fairly adept at disassembling the various grill tops.
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    We are pretty strict about the hood systems with our fire inspections. This keeps the instances of this type of job relatively low.
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    We have been to our wendys at least 4 times in the last two year for the same thing

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    The hoods and kitchen suprression aka ansuls were cleaned and within their inspection dates.
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    Post And..........

    We respond on the First Alarm to 4 Wendy's, but I've only been to one for a Fire. That one was a few years back, Electrical short, burned a few square feet inside an exterior wall. I can't remember a Grill or Hood Fire around here in years.
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    My only grill fire was when one of the fryers was left on. The suppression system did its job. Small amount of fire up in the attic above the grill. Did minor damage to kitchen and structure above.

    Now for the rest of the story......

    One year later, lightning struck the restaurant and it burnt to the ground.
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT View Post
    My only grill fire was when one of the fryers was left on. The suppression system did its job. Small amount of fire up in the attic above the grill. Did minor damage to kitchen and structure above.

    Now for the rest of the story......

    One year later, lightning struck the restaurant and it burnt to the ground.
    Yeah, if you have an old system without an auto gas shut-off or one were the gas shut-off doesn't work, once the oil starts boiling again it usually flares back up pretty quick.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far.

    The hoods and kitchen suprression aka ansuls were cleaned and within their inspection dates.
    The grease builds-up that quick on grease metal. Think what it does to your arteries.
    Last edited by FDAIC485; 03-16-2008 at 09:57 PM.
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    We have a Wendy's here and no incidents of that type............will keep that in mind, thanks Ron.
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    I have done a bunch of these fires. Wendy's is no different than any other fast food joint.

    The problem with these buildings is that they are built to replace. They are not built to withstand fire. The kitchens are virtually identical from location to location. They are purchased from one vendor as a kit and shipped to the location. They are installed by minimum wage employees with just enough skilled labor around to get past the inspectors.

    These corporations are not interested in fire safety. In fact, I have been told by a representative of a fast food chain that the corporations actually plan on losing a certain number of restaurants per year to fire. Unless the damage is minor, they will take the cheap route and tear it down and rebuild it from scratch. It is cheaper and faster than devoting the resources to fix it.

    If the restaurant was closed and there was no exposure hazard, I would not commit one FF to the interior if these places were well involved. Risk nothing to gain nothing.
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    A suspect was apprehended by police....
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    I work at a local Burger King... Never had a problem that we needed to call out the FD in the 1 year I've been there - Almost one time though... Our broiler had too much grease in the ashpan. I just closed the gas line off and dumped the ashpan.

    Company policy is to wash and scrub the hoods every night at close. Our controls for our friers are right by the hoods where as most other places have their controls below. The insides/guts of the friers get steam cleaned at least twice a year by a fire protection company when they come into check our ansul system and exhaust fans.
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    We used to try to clean the insides of the grills atleast once a month at the rest. I used to work at. The boss was a real ***** about keeping equipment clean, but once in a blue moon there would be some grease inside the grill that would catch fire, not much since there was never really a lot of buildup, We would just keep an eye on it, and just let it burns itself out, since it was always contained underneath the grill top.

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    We had this problem at a local chinese rest. We went for a inspection as a shift. The inspector knocked them on it. They had grease running everywhere. It was pretty bad. Even had it running down the roof and stuff. The insp advised them to clean it. Ohhhh we don't understand your english! Well they understood having a company come in in 24 hours or your shut down which equals no money. That part they understood!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ladder8 View Post
    A suspect was apprehended by police....
    Here is the Zapruder film from just after that photo was taken...

    http://www.fairfaxunderground.com/fo...p?40,file=2013

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    It takes some understanding of the exhaust system to make these people understand that cleaning the hood is just as important as cleaning the grill. If the hood is heavily coated and the fire gets up there, the suppression system will never put it out. Most suppression systems are designed to put out a fire on the grill, not in the hood or the duct work. Once its in the hood and duct, forget it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    Has anyone has similar problems with a Wendy's in their districts?
    Not the same cause, but similar issues with lack of employees deploying their suppression system. We responded to our Wendy's for a two tub fryolater fire, had to be a real fire because it was the first time they evacuated the place properly. But upon questioning they failed to activate the suppression system because "they had been told not too, just call the FD." We went in and activated their system with perfect results. Ever since they came, we had terrible trouble getting Wendy's to follow basic alarm procedures. oddly enough they were small enough to not require and alarm, but they wanted it just the same, even though they ignored it/silenced it/reset it prior to our arrival on numerous occasions.
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 03-17-2008 at 09:26 AM.

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    Lightbulb And...........

    George just made me think (again) of something. Most of these establishments have heavy air handling equipment on a Truss Roof. If I remember correctly, that situation has been responsible for some LODDs over the years. One of you Google nuts can probably find a trail..............
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    Don't have a Wendys, but we've been to Burger King 3 or 4 times. Two days in a row as a matter of fact...which is also the last time I got food from that Burger King for a lot of years.

    French frier grease fire. Did not trip the overhead system. Employee dumped an extinguisher on it, which pretty much knocked it down. We disconnected the gas line and were able to move it out the back door. Next day, get called back for another fire. Yup, same machine. Came to find that after we left, they rolled it right back in and started fries up again.

    Another call to heath inspector telling of what happened and find that they were too busy to respond on the previous day.


    There have been new Managers put into the store and they have done a great job at cleaning up the whole store. It now appears to be a fairly well run place.
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    Last time we had one of these, it didn't go well

    http://www.wavy.com/global/story.asp...Type=Printable

    Believe this one started in a similar fashion:


    Good post about this: http://forums.firehouse.com/showpost...6&postcount=16

    Just this weekend, another eatery had a fire in a pizza oven. These are fairly common in this area. Unfortunately for us, this area being military, is loaded with McDonalds, Burger King, Chik Fil A, Wendys and other fast food establishment.
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    Several years back at a Burger King the employees thought they had a grease flash fire out and didn't call the fire dept. It was running the ductwork and showed it head 45 minutes or so later on the floor above. The building was a 3-story mixed occupancy frame with BK on the ground floor and apartments above, attached both sides by other 3-story mixed frames. All balloon construction. 4 alarms and three buildings later the rest is history.

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    At a previous department, we went to a different fast food joint 2-3 times for fire in a fryer, but where hood system would not get.

    First time we took a dry chem in and 1-2 quick burst did the trick, but there wasn't adequate ventilation, so the kitchen area was contaminated. Got chewed out by an assistant chief because they were going to be shut down a couple of days to clean and the health department had to come out. We were instructed to bring a CO2 extinguisher next time.

    Ironically, a month later, we had the same situation and we took the CO2 extinguisher in. Same assistant chief wanted to know why we brought that instead of the dry chem extinguisher. Darned if you do, darned if you don't I guess.

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