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#166802 - 07/28/07 11:41 PM Apartment Fire  
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 251
Kingwood, TX USA This fire was caused by a tenant wiring the window air conditioner directly to the wall outlet (he cut the plug off) He admitted it on TV when he was interviewed. He and his family witness the fire start and tried to put it out. Robert

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#166820 - 07/29/07 01:52 PM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: WESTUPLACE]  
Retired_Helper  Offline
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 165
mad I honestly think the fool that caused this fire is dancing right on the edge of a depraved indifference charge. Or does that only apply if someone is injured or killed? frown

#166822 - 07/29/07 02:14 PM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: Retired_Helper]  
CTwireman  Offline
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 840
Connecticut, USA
That must have been an old complex built long before strict fire codes for the entire place to go up like that. It must have been a common attic.


#166824 - 07/29/07 02:46 PM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: CTwireman]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
I once saw a bus-sized "RV," that was towing a car. The car was carrying a bicycle. Strapped to the bike was a skateboard. This guy was NOT going to be stranded! Redundancy - I love it!

So... what happened to the 'fire wall' separating different units? Why were the fire mains inadequate?

I don't think this fire could have been so damaging, had it not been for the 'ball being dropped' by many different parties.

I note some discrepancies in the reporting. This is to be expected: the local reporter can't be expected to know much about anything - and the usually don't laugh
Did the guy bypass the receptacle? Or the breaker? A minor point, I suppose ... I just want to know how much of a fool we have here. laugh

I would be interested to learn if the fault that started this fire was in the air conditioner (so maybe the LCDI was doing it's job?) or in the building wiring (from the breaker being bypassed).

There are various legal principles, some defined by statute, some by tradition, that could be used to address this DIY disaster. If nothing else, 'reckless endangerment' and 'criminal damage to property' come to mind. Remember ... even if the person was allowed to deliberately start a fire, they are responsible for keeping it under control.

How hard the local authorities want to work is another matter.

I'm glad no one was injured. By all appearances, it looks as if the place was a fire trap that needed to be torn down.

#166828 - 07/29/07 04:27 PM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: CTwireman]  
LK  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
New Jersey
Originally Posted by CTwireman
That must have been an old complex built long before strict fire codes for the entire place to go up like that. It must have been a common attic.

They don't have to be old, for the entire place to go up, we have see plenty of new 30 units and more, both condo, and town house, go to the ground, and there was water to fight them, and they had fire walls, when these buildings get going they they are like a fire storm.

#166883 - 07/31/07 07:45 AM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: LK]  
Texas_Ranger  Offline
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,405
Vienna, Austria
Looks like apartment complexes with interior brick/concrete walls and either pired concrete ceilings or wood with very substantial timbers and large amounts of non-combustible insulation (we're talking 4x10 beams and an absolute minimum of 4" of sand on top) do have their merits... usually apartment fires here keep confined to the unit where the fire originated.

#166890 - 07/31/07 12:39 PM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: LK]  
brianl703  Offline
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 166
Manassas, VA
Originally Posted by LK
They don't have to be old, for the entire place to go up, we have see plenty of new 30 units and more, both condo, and town house, go to the ground

The townhouse across the street from mine almost burned to the ground and the townhouses on either side were pretty much unharmed.

The standard here is two layers of 1" drywall in a metal track as the party/common wall, and type X drywall installed under the roof adjacent to the party wall. I've seen it installed about 4 feet from the party wall. This is to prevent fire spread from the adjacent roof.

Guess what..I've seen townhouses built without the type X drywall under the roof. Somehow they passed the building inspection.

Roof replacements are another many roofing contractors do you suppose are going to re-install the type X drywall, if it was even there to begin with?

Then there's the townhouse I saw with concrete block party wall that had holes in it where someone ran a coaxial cable for a master antenna TV system. It ran from attic to attic through a 1" hole. Doesn't that kind of defeat the fire protection that the party wall provides?

Last edited by brianl703; 07/31/07 12:42 PM.

#167146 - 08/07/07 12:00 AM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: brianl703]  
Samurai  Offline
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 46
I think fire codes become wishful planning at 2000 degrees
I had someone call me and ask if it was ok to change his wife's (20A) tanning bed to a 40A breaker so it would stop tripping - I so badly wanted to tell him to urinate on the plug so the electrolytes would improve the flow. (I controlled myself)

#167147 - 08/07/07 02:21 AM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: Samurai]  
Gloria  Offline
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 364
Budapest, Hungary
Wow! that's strange. We never had fires caused by A/C units yet, but I must say there aren't too many set up yet on the buildings. If one would go off, many homes would be destroyed in a house like ours.
Here the main fire cause is the coffee machine, and it usually burns 2-3 flats, and upwards 6-8 others filled with smoke.

The world is full of beauty if the heart is full of love

#167149 - 08/07/07 06:01 AM Re: Apartment Fire [Re: Gloria]  
Alan Belson  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,803
Mayenne N. France
A combination motorbike and sidecar! I had a 'combo' in the sixties, [ Norton Atlas ], till I got a car. Hard to steer left [in England ] as the sidecar tended to lift off, but it went round right-handers like it was on rails.

Delaying fire spread to give occupants time to escape and the FD time to limit damage to surrounding properties is about the best one can hope for. The fireproof dwelling does not exist; wood, brick, stone or cement, every home is full of dry and highly combustible materials.

Wood work but can't!

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