[GSBN] Fwd: Re: [nbne] Fwd: [Fwd: Re: Fire in SB]

Mark Piepkorn mark at buildinggreen.com
Mon Mar 30 18:09:45 CDT 2009

From: Robert Riversong <turningtide at ponds-edge.net>

>>The fire started in the crawlspace of the stick-framed addition and 
>>burned most of the wood structure before moving into the SB part of 
>>the house.  He claims that all the foam had a part in intensifying 
>>the blaze (by keeping all the heat inside, and by off gassing), but 
>>I'm not sure about that.  (anyone?)
>Absolutely. The first thing we do at a structure fire is ventilate 
>the building to release superheated air (a structure fire can 
>quickly rise to 3500F. Foam, particularly if it's treated with 
>fire-resistant chemicals, will prevent a fire from self-ventilating 
>and will contain the superheated air. It can raise the heat to many 
>thousands of degrees in a very short time and can cause a flashover 
>as the surface burns off, producing very toxic fumes and quickly 
>spreading the fire to other combustibles.
>While spray urethane foam will generally not support fire on its 
>own, if fueled by wood or other combustibles it can dramatically 
>accelerate a fire. Of course, the well-insulated and relatively 
>fire-proof bale walls would also contain and accelerate the fire.
>>Erik thinks the fire crew may have knocked the SB walls down.  (I 
>>don't know much about fire-fighting procedures, but that seems 
>>pretty reasonable to assume... for safety reasons.
>It's possible that the collapsing roof kicked some of the walls out 
>and the collapsing floor may have done so as well. But it's also 
>likely that the fire fighters would have dismantled the bales to 
>make sure that there was no hidden smoldering fire - much as they 
>wwould do at a hay barn fire.

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