Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tower block opts for fire sprinklers

A tower block has been retro-fitted with a fire sprinkler system – the first of its kind in Wales.
Fairview Court, in Pontypool, is the first high rise owned by registered social landlord Bron Afon Community Housing to benefit from the safety measure.
The building is a 12-storey high block with 70 flats. Implementation of the system cost £95,000 and sprinklers are only activated at a temperature of 68 degrees celcius.
Dave Sharman, Bron Afon community housing’s director of property, said: “We looked carefully at the lessons learnt from fires in high rise blocks and have worked closely with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

“Only the sprinkler nearest to the fire will be activated and usually within one minute or less. As well as putting out the fire, the sprinklers greatly reduce the particles contained in smoke so reduce the risk of injury from smoke inhalation.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hundreds evacuated after chemical plant fire

Up to 1,000 people had to be evacuated from parts of south Dallas after a fire at a chemical plant – sending plumes of black smoke into the air.
The blaze at Magnablend chemical plant in Waxahatchie, happened on 3 October, 2011 at just before 10:45am. The fire was under control by 3:30pm but the fire department did not leave the scene until Friday 7 October at 5:20pm.
Around 90 firefighters tackled the blaze, where no one was hurt. Local police evacuated between 700 and 1,000 people – including schoolchildren from an elementary school.
The firm makes about 200 products, including some that are hazardous when ignited. Much of its business covers energy production, including chemicals used to stimulate oil and gas wells.
The Waxahatchie Fire Department said the company was making a large batch of a waste water chemical and a steam cloud came off of it and in the cloud was Hydrogen from the product. The hazardous materials commander, Ted Padgett said smoldering sulfur-based animal feed compounds left an ‘extremely foul odour’ once the fire was put out.
Environmental officials are investigating.