Recent Fire Damage Posts

Yorktown Heights Refuse and Recycling Event

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

a pile of electronics It will be exciting to see the community taking care of their town by attending the recycling event!

Drop off E-Waste, Textiles, and Tires Dec 16th at the Yorktown Heights Recycling Center

Yorktown Heights is holding the last recycling event of the year on Dec 16th between 7:30 am and 2:30 pm. All residents can drop off E-Waste and textiles, as well as car tires. There will be a $5.00 drop off fee for each tire. Residents should note that they can no longer place tires in their bulk trash collections.

This is an excellent opportunity to get rid of those old keyboards, computers, laptops, printers, tablets, televisions, printers, even old cell phones in a safe and environmentally protective manner. These items, along with textiles, can be dropped off for free at the Refuse and Recycling department located at 2279 Crompond Road in Yorktown Heights. Fabrics should be placed in bags for ease of handling and processing. Old clothing, towels, sheets curtains are a few examples of the items that are being accepted.

Support your town and the local environment.

SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County provides fire damage removal and restoration services to Yorktown Heights Residential and commercial business customers and the surrounding area. Call (914) 241-8100. We are available 24/7to help with all your fire damage removal needs.

Can Professional Post-Fire Job Scoping Expedite Claims Approvals?

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

fire insurance workup on tablet Yorktown Heights Residences Benefit from SERVPRO's Professional Fire Damage and Cleanup Services. We work with your insurance carrier.

Our SERVPRO professionals can work with your insurance provider to present the appropriate information necessary to approve damage claims made on Yorktown Heights homes after a fire.

Fires can be among the most destructive and damaging situations that your Yorktown Heights home faces. With the speed that fires can spread, first responders work fast to quell the flames and extinguish the blaze entirely. In the same vein, restoration professionals must respond as quickly once it is safe to begin initial actions that protect the property and its occupants. From temporary roof tarping and board up to content relocation and air quality control, we know how critical a fast response becomes.

Because fire damage restoration for Yorktown Heights homes can feature so many layers of cleaning and recovery, the process should begin as soon as possible. Unfortunately, home insurance policies do not always immediately greenlight all the restoration that your home needs beyond fire debris removal and specific mitigation tasks. Our SERVPRO team works to provide the most efficient and streamlined approach to get the go-ahead to begin clean up.

How Plausible is DIY Cleaning After a Fire?

Many homeowners attempt to provide the work and attention that their properties need after fire and water losses. The DIY approach is often undesirable when you consider several variables that make cleaning challenging and potentially hazardous. These include:

  • Soot – Soot can be among the most palpable cleaning challenges for DIY approaches, primarily because exposure to these particles can be hazardous to your health. Also, depending on the material affected and the type of residue, many potential cleaning strategies might be necessary. 
  • Smoke – The spread and concentrations of smoke can directly impact the thickness and strength of odors after a fire loss. Deodorization techniques must get used to remedy these circumstances as soon as possible. Often these actions fall to thermal fogging and other approaches specific to professional restoration. 
  • Structural Damages – Not only can surface cleaning and deodorization be a concern, but the impact on fire debris and partial structural collapse showcase the need for professional restorers and contractors. 

What Can Job Scoping Determine?

Pre-mitigation evaluations of the property can help each element of our SERVPRO response be on the same page with the structure's restoration needs. Each scoping task seeks to uncover the same underlying details about the building and its current conditions, including:

What Can Our SERVPRO Team Provide Insurance Companies?

Your insurance company is not only for making damage claims easy, quick, and carefree. In many cases, you can get tied up in the processes and paperwork for days, all while your home's condition worsens. As a preferred vendor for many insurance companies in the area, we can directly reach out to them about what they require to approve your damage claim submission. Our initial inspection can provide several critical details, including:

  • Estimations – Using software like Xactimate and other programs, we can maintain a concise and legible estimate of restoration and reconstruction services necessary after a fire loss. 
  • Damage Assessments – A thorough inspection of the property is part of what your insurance company is looking for when they insist on professional evaluations. We catalog damage and losses to streamline the approval process. 
  • Restoration Plan – Most insurance providers want to know the plan and suggested actions to return a property to preloss condition. Detailing this approach ensures that we can complete the restorative measures your house needs. 

Is Professional Assessment Faster?

Perhaps one of the most direct advantages to SERVPRO damage assessment and scoping of the job is the efficiency of this approach. With our experience in the fire restoration niche, we know the signals and signs to look for when structural elements become compromised or other conditions that threaten the home or occupants. DIY evaluations can easily miss subtle cues of more significant concerns, but with the advanced tools and technologies that are part of our inspection and assessment, we can better protect your residence and its contents.

The value of pre-job scoping of fire-damaged properties cannot be understated. Not only can this evaluation help to determine the specific restoration plan for your property, but it can also provide the appropriate information for your insurance company to aid in the securing of a damage claim through your provider for your property. Because of how quickly these situations can get out of control, it is critical to contact our SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County team as soon as possible at (914) 241-8100.

A Fire in My Attic! Now, What Should I Do?

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

dry ice machine blast cleaning Fire damage cleanup and control by SERVPRO--We have advanced equipment to Help Yorktown Heights owners feel, "Like it never even happened."

For Fire Damage Restorations Services Inside the Attic in Your House in Yorktown Heights Call SERVPRO

The attic inside your Yorktown Heights home can contain heating vents and electrical wires, which could become the source of a small blaze. Even if the fire in your attic does not burn a large number of your structural components, issues can still arise. The smoke coming from the burnt materials can cause soot residues and foul odors to exist.

How do you determine what items in my house got affected by the fire?

As a part of fire damage restoration in Yorktown Heights, our SERVPRO technicians start the process by inspecting your entire house for the presence of charred materials, soot residues, and foul odors. We start examining from the source of the blaze and then work from there and then into other areas of your home. Depending on the rigor of the fire, we may find that sections of your ceilings or roof trusses got burnt bad enough to where they have to be removed and replaced. If there are no building materials that got charred significantly, then we can access your attic and decide what we can do to remove stored contents along with the residues to help expel unpleasant aromas.

How can you remove residues and foul odors from my attic?

  • Remove Surface Charring: If there is charring on your roofing trusses or other wood inside your attic that is less than a quarter-inch deep, then we can sand off the burnt materials.
  • Another method is to use dry-ice blasting--rasping the slight charring with pressured pellets--and no water to exacerbate the damage
  • Remove Damaged Insulation: If the insulation inside your attic comes into contact with smoke or gets burnt, then we can remove and replace it so that the materials are not the source of foul odors.
  • Seal Wooden Structural Components: After the charring gets removed from any affected wood in your attic, we can spray the areas with a specialized sealant paint to seal in any burnt smells.

If you have a fire start inside your attic, call SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County at (914) 241-8100 24/7.

How Do I Minimize Inconveniences After Fire Damage At My Yorktown Heights Home?

7/25/2020 (Permalink)

A kitchen fire destroys a home Call SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County at (914) 241-8100 to help. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

SERVPRO Helps Evaluate the Level of Damage To The Yorktown Heights Property Determining The Best Ways to Handle Renovation

Fire can start any time at your property, sparked by unattended cooking or electrical faults, among other things. When such an incident happens, you have to worry about the repair costs as well as the inconveniences that you have to face as you renovate. Highly trained crews from SERVPRO quickly respond when notified about fire incidents in Yorktown Heights properties and can help find ways to minimize inconveniences.

What typical inconveniences develop after fire damage in Yorktown Heights?

    •    Heavy soiling leaves items unusable
    •    Discomfort due to smoky or particulate-filled air
    •    Unexpected openings such as shattered windows

Although the combustion process manifests physically, it is a chemical process that consumes materials and also produces various byproducts, which spread throughout the property. For instance, smoke is driven by convectional currents to colder areas within the house depositing soot on open surfaces and enclosed spaces. In the aftermath of a fire incident in Yorktown Heights, you might need to seek alternative accommodation since it might be dangerous or uncomfortable to stay in the damaged house. Venturing into the property can also cause additional damages, such as spreading residues to unaffected areas.

Are there ways to reduce the inconvenience?

Each incident presents different circumstances depending on the intensity of the fire loss, layout, and size of the property. However, some actions, especially when taken in time, can help manage the inconveniences you face. Our SERVPRO crews help by taking actions such as:
    •    Expediting restoration processes
    •    Isolating affected rooms the rest of the property
    •    Moving items

Refurbishing a house affected by fire takes several steps. Even after a minor incident, there are surfaces to clean and contents to dry or move around, so it takes time. For the major incidents, the workload increases because steps such as demolition and reconstruction of damaged areas are necessary. Our crews help expedite restoration in different ways. For instance, we have more people and equipment to handle different restoration processes. Our extensive experience handling fire incidents helps us gain a better understanding of the loss at your property, thus eliminating trial and error approaches that waste time. For instance, we can evaluate items faster and determine what is salvageable and what requires immediate removal for disposal.

Is it necessary to move all items when restoring fire damage?

Moving items can help minimize the inconveniences by removing obstacles around the work area or by increasing the space available to perform various restoration processes. However, moving items is also an inconvenience. Some items, such as furniture or appliances, are heavy and bulky, while others are fragile.

Our SERVPRO technicians help assess the situation and decide whether the movement is necessary. We also determine whether to move items to offsite storage or within one section of the property. In some cases, we also bring temporary storage units to your property to help hold items safely as we perform the restoration. We have tools such as air sleds or dollies, and our crews are trained on the best ways to handle heavy items when transferring them, thus simplifying the movement process.

Can we continue occupying the property during the renovation?

Seeking an alternative place to stay as the fire damage in your house is fixed is perhaps one of the greatest inconveniences that you loathe due to reasons such as:
    •    The extra cost of alternate accommodation
    •    Safety of the damaged property
    •    Disruption of your daily routines

Moving out of the damaged property even after smaller fire incidents is a practical step for your safety and other reasons. Fires leave harmful aerosols and soot in the air, and inhalation can lead to respiratory issues. Structure issues can also develop due to deep charring of wall or ceiling frames, making it risky to continue occupying the house.

Our SERVPRO technicians can help you deal with the issues related to moving or occupying the house during renovation. If your insurance adjuster determines that you can continue occupying the house, we help perform emergency cleaning to make the property 'livable' during the restoration period. We clean utility areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. We can also seal off the affected area from the rest of the house. In case you seek alternative accommodation, we board up the property to secure it from weather elements and vandals, giving you peace of mind.

Fixing a fire-damaged property is never convenient, but assistance from a professional restorer can help lighten the load when restoring your Mount Kisco, Bedford, or Armonk home. Call SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County at (914) 241-8100 to help. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

How Can I Remove Soot Residues from My Mount Kisco Walls and Ceilings After a Fire?

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Burning flame isolated on black If you ever notice that your walls and ceilings are coated with soot residues after a fire, call SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County.

SERVPRO Can Utilize Various Techniques and Chemicals to Remove all Soot Residues Inside your Mount Kisco Home

If a fire breaks out inside your house in Mount Kisco, the smoke can cause several issues aside from the materials it burns. Partially combusted particles can travel through your building and harden in the form of soot when it touches cooler surfaces like your walls and ceilings.

How do you determine what type of chemicals and techniques to use?

When working towards removing soot during fire damage restoration in Mount Kisco, our SERVPRO technicians start by finding all of your building materials and contents that got affected by soot. Once we determine where the smoke traveled, we then figure out what type of soot is present by determining what the blaze burned as fuels. For hard non-porous surfaces, we can use water-based, wet cleaning procedures, and for softer porous surfaces, we can use dry cleaning methods.

Why do some surfaces have to be dry cleaned?

Porous surfaces are unwashable because water-based solutions can cause the soot to soak deeper into the material. Softer materials like acoustic ceilings or drywall can be cleaned using dry sponges, vacuuming, dry wiping, or other methods. Sponges can be effective when cleaning different types of walls and ceilings because they can keep removing soils after they absorb a large number of residues.

What types of chemicals do you use when wet cleaning harder surfaces?

    •    General Surface Cleaners- These detergents can be used on most painted and washable surfaces. Their alkalinity is low enough to where it will not ruin semi-gloss surfaces.
    •    Heavy-Duty Cleaners- Heavy-duty detergents are effective when removing heavy grease and soils that are difficult to remove. They are usually high alkaline solutions that can ruin finished surfaces.
    •    Strong Acid Cleaners- Solutions high on the acidic side are excellent at cleaning soot residues from stone and brick items.

If you ever notice that your walls and ceilings are coated with soot residues after a fire, call SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County at (914) 241-8100 any time of the day.

How Do I Get Soot Off of My Walls In My Mount Kisco Home?

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

fire damaged home “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Mount Kisco Can Swiftly Remediate the Fire Damage Causing Soot Stains in Your Home

Many Mount Kisco homeowners may find themselves needing to deal with fire damage at some point in their life. Unfortunately, damage from a blaze can leave many reminders behind, such as soot stains.

How can SERVPRO address the soot staining my walls from the fire damage in my Mount Kisco home?

    •    Identification: Depending on what the fire inside your home burned, the compounds that make up the greasy stains on your wall may need different agents to break them down.
    •    Cleaning: Our SERVPRO techs can use several cleaning methods to lift the soot from your walls. Scrubbing used in combination with the right cleaning agent can break down the soot.
    •    Sealing: In rare cases, a fresh coat of a special sealing-paint may be needed to lock in odors and touch up the color after removal.

Contact SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County right now if your home needs fire damage remediation. Dial (914) 241-8100 to get in touch with one of our representatives. We're open 24/7.

For more about Mount Kisco click here.

We Have Effective Techniques To Restore Your Mount Kisco Home After A Fire

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

A room in a home covered in soot and smoke damage after a fire After a fire hit this home we removed all the charred building elements and belongings and deodorized the home. We act fast to prevent further damage.

Deodorizing after Fire Damage in Your Mount Kisco Home

After a fire, one of the most challenging issues is ridding your home and all of its contents of the awful smoke-smell. It is vital to use the appropriate deodorization procedures so that you are not smelling smoke for weeks or months to come. Surprisingly, even the smallest of fires can permeate smoke throughout your entire home.

If you have fire damage after a fire in Mount Kisco, chances are you need to deodorize your home in conjunction with cleaning and repairing any structural damage that you may have. Contents within the home may best undergo cleaning and deodorization in an offsite facility while the rest of your home is undergoing deodorization.

Fire damage restoration involves both removing the smoke residues and also deodorizing the smoke odors/ The first step is to remove the odor source if possible. However, it is essential to leave debris until the insurance company or fire department inspect and make the appropriate assessments. Next, SERVPRO technicians clean odor-causing residues from surfaces using a detergent/deodorant solution such as SERVPRO's specially formulated detergent/deodorizer Wall and All Surface Cleaner. Using odor counteracting beads or pellets helps to control odor vapors.

It is critical to inspect for odor pockets in crawl spaces, small spaces above ceilings, and wall cavities. SERVPRO technicians re-create the conditions of odor penetration by using either a thermal or ULV fogger to dissipate deodorizer throughout the home attacking smoke odors in every nook and cranny. During this process, residents and pets most likely need to leave the premises for safety purposes while the technicians wear personal protective gear limiting any chemical exposure.

After the technicians fog the impacted areas, they inspect the HVAC system, especially if it was in use during the fire. They may choose to place cheesecloth over the vents to determine the amount and severity of the smoke within the HVAC system, while also acting as a filter to stop any smoke vapors from re-entering the home.

Contact SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County for 24/7 assistance after a fire at (914) 241-8100.

See more about Mount Kisco.

You Can Count On Our Experts To Restore Your Yorktown Heights Home After A Fire

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged wiring that caused a fire in this attic Our experts can inspect your attic and reveal damaged wiring and charred and blackened roof sheathing material to prevent a fire in your home.

Professional Skills Needed to Clean Fire Damage Residues in Yorktown Heights

Fire harms your Yorktown Heights home in a wide variety of ways. Heat and flames can warp and char materials. Water used to knock down the fire can soak into structural components and contents. Smoke moves throughout every space in your home, even far from the ignition site. Solid particulates, better known as soot, form deposits on surfaces, including ceilings, walls, floors, and furnishings. The use of appropriate skills, methods, and products to clean off these residues makes a significant difference in how quickly and thoroughly your home returns to preloss condition.

Comprehensive Inspection

Although we know you are anxious to resolve the fire damage to your Yorktown Heights home, a thorough inspection of every affected area and surface must precede cleanup and restoration work. We develop a phase by phase, step by step plan to address all aspects of your home’s unique circumstances. Choices made by firefighters require immediate resolution, with water and chemical removal job one. The materials burned and the types of surfaces upon which residues deposit provide the data to inform our project manager on what cleaning methods and products to select for optimal outcomes.

Full-Spectrum of Disaster Resolution Services 

SERVPRO excels at fire damage restoration because our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained managers and technicians earn multiple certifications in the broad range of skills needed to return your home to preloss condition. Our equipment is also top-notch, efficient, and innovative, specifically designed to manage the tasks necessary to clear water, remove soot, and remediate charring, among other goals. 

Combination of Proper Technique and Proprietary Products

The bulk of fire damage mitigation and remediation involves soot removal. Conventional cleaning products, particularly those that boast the capability to clean a multitude of soils off a variety of surfaces, can disappoint. The SERVPRO training and experience impresses as we adjust the elements of cleaning -- temperature, agitation, chemical action, and time -- based on industry best practices. The choice of cleaning solutions is deliberate and matched to the type of soot, whether dry, wet, or protein-based. 

Relying on the skills of SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County leads to successful outcomes after a fire disaster. Call us at (914) 241-8100 to see how our training and well-researched products deliver the results you desire and deserve.

See more about Yorktown Heights.

Call Us After A Fire In Yorktown Heights

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

A room that suffered fire damage with soot and smoke covering all areas Our SERVPRO team can clean up and remove the debris, as we focus on combatting the odors with hydroxyl generators and air scrubbers.

Deodorization Equipment for Fire-Damaged Yorktown Heights Homes

Deodorization is a critical component to the full recovery of Yorktown Heights properties after a fire loss incident. Our team must work to secure the structure with our arrival, determining the scope of the damage and what – if any – portions of the construction materials must get removed and later replaced. The more fire debris and damaged contents that can get removed from the home, the less overwhelming and robust smoke odors are. 

Choosing the right equipment to recover specific effects of fire damage in Yorktown Heights homes is vital to making the process as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Despite how expensive you might perceive professional restoration to be, our SERVPRO professionals remain devoted to offering the most streamlined approach. For lingering concerns like smoke odors, our technicians have multiple pieces of equipment that we can choose from based on the severity and spread of these effects. 

Our fire damage recovery technicians have accreditations in either Fire & Smoke Restoration (FSRT) or Odor Control (OCT), and some of our experienced staff have both. This training and expertise help our crew to choose the right tool for the job on every deodorization task. 

  • Thermal/UV Foggers – These units heat a deodorizing solution into a fine, vapor fog. The composition of this output has particles small enough to penetrate affected surfaces like drywall and wood, making it an ideal choice for soft materials with trapped smoke odors. 
  • Hydroxyl Generators – A multipurpose machine that can work to deodorize a broad area with a UV spectrum, but also work on cleaning the affected environment as well with this same process. 
  • Ozone Machines – Generating ozone can be hazardous to those immediately exposed to the process but remains one of the fastest and most effective means of removing harsh smoke odors. Ozone has an additional oxygen molecule that can bond with odor compounds to neutralize them. Once a room has aired out following a specific deodorization, it is safe to return. 

Choosing the right equipment is the discretion of the technicians on site, but when it comes to overcoming the harsh odors of fire loss, you can count on our SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County team. Give us a call today at (914) 241-8100.

See more about Yorktown Heights.

Mistakes You Don't Want to Make After Fire Damage in Your Mount Kisco Home

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

Living room with a large amount of fire and soot damage. SERVPRO will be first in line to help you come back from your Mount Kisco house fire.

Let us help you stop worrying about your fire damage in Mount Kisco.

The first 48 hours after fire damage in a home are crucial. Copious amounts of water wind up in the property from firefighting efforts and not only does the smoke residue require removal, but fast extraction of the water also needs to occur as quickly as possible. 

Self-cleaning fire damage is something Mount Kisco homeowners should avoid. When liquid cleaners come into contact with dry smoke residue - the result drives it deeper into surfaces, sometimes making things that once had restoration potential into a loss. Scrubbing away smoke residue sounds correct, but depending on the surface and type of smoke damage, it may cause more damage to the property.

DIY actions homeowners should take: 

  • When only a portion of the home is affected by fire, ask the fire department if it is safe to remain in the home
  • Turn off the HVAC system to stop the spread of soot in the ductwork
  • Close off the fire loss area of the house to foot traffic
  • Turn off the electricity to the home if walls around outlets are wet

Working closely with property owners so they know what is happening with each phase of the mitigation process, SERVPRO technicians remove the water, debris, and charred items. There are two sides to restoration services, and one is to save as much as possible through cleaning and areas of the structure that do not have restorative potential are made ready for reconstruction.

SERVPRO technicians undergo extensive training to become certified in the restoration sciences. This includes how to test and determine the type of residue, so they choose the best cleaning methods in each case. Often smoke residue requires careful manual removal followed up the use of equipment to neutralize airborne soot particles and other odor control applications. 

Fire damage cleanup and restoration need to happen as soon as possible after a fire loss. Call SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County at (914) 241-8100, our emergency response teams are available 24/7, and they have the experience, equipment, and commitment to make the damage to your home "Like it never even happened."

To learn more about Mount Kisco, click here.

Mount Kisco Properties Benefit from SERVPRO Fire Loss and Odor Control Mitigation

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Says to Mount Kisco Homeowners--Call Us for Fire Damage Restoration and Odor Control

Why Several Deodorizers Exist for Fire-Damaged Mount Kisco Homes

There are multiple tools, products, and machines that are vital in the professional recovery of fire loss incidents to Mount Kisco homes. As challenging as these instances can be to overcome even with this advanced equipment, many homeowners seeking to do this alone do not have the same access to these modern machines. Some mid-grade options exist in home improvement locations for rent or purchase, but without purchasing an entire inventory of restoration tools yourself, how do you know what items you need for fire loss recovery?

One of the biggest challenges to overcome regarding fire damage in Mount Kisco homes is lingering odors and smoke. Deodorization equipment can often eliminate these threats permanently, but there are several units that you can choose from – even with the limited stock available in hardware stores. There are reasons that there are varying types, and why all of these options arrive with our SERVPRO professionals when we reach a fire-damaged property.

Primarily, our SERVPRO team utilizes several options in most fire loss incidents, including thermal and UV foggers, hydroxyl generators, and even ozone machines. Each of these units has distinct advantages, primarily in either the range of their effectiveness or in the items that they can most efficiently and thoroughly deodorize. Thermal foggers, for example, can easily permeate soft materials like clothing, upholstery, and carpets to break apart harsh odor compounds embedded in them.

There are disadvantages to specific choices as well, and these are things that you need to know before these units get rented or purchased. Ozone generators are highly capable machines that can make short work of odors in contents and open areas of your damaged home, but the creation of ozone to neutralize these molecules is hazardous and even fatal to humans and pets directly exposed. These units must get run while no other work is getting completed. SERVPRO strongly suggests not to introduce O3 ozone molecules into your home. Leave the heavy lifting to us, done right and safely.

We strive to give our customers the information that can help them to make the best decisions for their property in a time of crisis. While our SERVPRO of Northern Westchester County team is always here to help you make fire loss “Like it never even happened.” we are also here to help with any questions you might have. Give us a call today at (914) 241-8100.

Here is our local government.

Keep Summer Safe

7/14/2016 (Permalink)

Soil Embers

Public Service Announcement – Keep Summer Safe

A: Three

Q:  How many fires has Team Randolph mitigated in the last year that started in potted plants?

Potting soil is comprised of peat, bark, perlite and coconut coir.  This highly flammable mix can turn a lazy afternoon on a deck to tragedy with the tamping of a single cigarette butt.  If you doubt it go to the Wizard of Oz (or Google) and type in “fire potting soil”.  The picture is not pretty.  

Dry potting soil requires only a tiny catalyst to begin smoldering and this is significantly underappreciated hazard. What’s worse the embers can expand unseen and burn out the bottom of a plastic hanging planter box. 

Avoid tragedy by using ashtrays, keep  your plants watered, use clay pots, keep  combustible material away from plants, and dispose of potting soil carefully.

Latex Foam reopens two weeks after fires

7/16/2014 (Permalink)

Firefighters are on scene in the aftermath of an early morning fire at the Latex International factory on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

SHELTON -- The prospect of Latex Foam reopening two weeks after two significant fires was doubtful.

But that's what happened Monday, as many of the company's 150 employees returned to work.

"It was a tremendous undertaking by everyone," said Allen Randolph, owner of SERVPRO of New Haven, Waterbury, the Naugatuck Valley and northern Westchester County which managed the cleanup. "Half of our staff lives in the Valley. We consider the Valley our home turf, so we're proud to have helped save these jobs."

Mayor Mark Lauretti said he drove by the company Monday morning and noticed the parking lot was full.

"This is good news for those who are employed there," the mayor said. "People need to work. They need the paycheck to pay their bills and feed their families."

Attempts to reach officials at Latex Foam by telephone were unsuccessful Monday. The general voicemail box was full and not accepting new calls.

Randolph credited David Fisher, Latex's chief executive officer, and the company's insurance team with providing the necessary resources to get the business back in operation.

Fisher "told us early on that it was his expectation to reopen July 14 and it was our job to do it," Randolph said. "There was never any discussion of failure to meet that goal."

There may not have been any discussion, but there were obstacles, like the second fire which struck just four days after the devastating first one that had required firefighters to pump more than 150,000 gallons of water on the blaze.

It seems black clouds have loomed over Latex Foam, which arose from the ashes of an arson that destroyed its predecessor -- Sponge Rubber Products -- on March 1, 1975. There was also the catastrophic 2001 weeklong fire that consumed the company's Ansonia headquarters, sending the company to its present River Road site. And two company executives are serving federal prison terms for embezzling $3.5 million. And there is the current bankruptcy petition to reorganize $29 million in debts.

The June 26 and 30 fires could have been the final straw.

"We were about 90 percent finished drying the basement when the second fire struck on June 30 at 11 a.m.," Randolph said. "That was a smaller fire and a lot less water was used."

But Randolph's crews, which worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week and at times numbered 170 people, attacked the clean-up in three stages. SERVPRO brought in extra employees from their Rhode Island, New York and Tennessee companies and members of ERS Services in Indiana to clean inside the machinery.

The first cleanup, which began June 26 and ended July 2, involved drying and cleaning the offices. The second, which ended Sunday, involved drying, cleaning and disinfecting rollers, conveyors, presses, machinery, pipes, rollers and conveyors through which the product moves.

The third stage, which is still progressing, involves cleaning non-critical working areas.

During the cleanup, Randolph said, SERVPRO brought in 200 air movers, 17 scissor lifts, a gigantic trailer-based desiccant dryer which removes condensation from compressed air and "a lot of guys with mops and wet-vacs."

mmayko@ctpost.com, 203-330-6286