High-Rise Fire Smoke Damage Differences

Another high rise apartment fire in Chicago. This one is good to review because it illustrates the difference between how firefighters see a fire and how the fire restoration services see a fire.

This one happened on the 5th floor and was put out quickly. Here’s the excerpt:

Firefighters responded about 7:40 a.m. to a report of smoke on the fifth floor of 1 E. Ontario St., Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Merritt said.

The fire, which “wasn’t big,” was extinguished by 8:20 a.m., he said. One person refused medical treatment.

The cause of the fire and extent of the damage weren’t immediately clear.

So think of the timeline here. At around 7:40 the firefighters respond and the fire was extinguished by 8:20. That’s 40 (forty) minutes’ worth of fire and smoke damage. If it were you, how long would the fire have to burn before you’d call the fire department? So it likely burned for longer.

The final line is the full truth: the damage done isn’t immediately clear. This is why you need to fully explore the fire issues. I am willing to be there’s damage to every adjacent unit as well as the hallway. Fire doesn’t just go up, it looks to move to every cooler spot it can get to.

Even in a modern building with plenty of fire stops, there is going to be infiltration. It’s very hard to fully block superheated smoke.

Stay safe.

Reference Linkes:

No one hurt in Near North high-rise fire



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