San Jose Apartment Fire Destroys Eight Units and Leaves Others with Smoke & Water Damage
LA Testing provides analytical services following fires to identify potential smoke residues, mold, lead and asbestos hazards.
Last month, the San Jose Mercury News published a report about a three-alarm fire at a San Jose apartment complex. According to the article, fire crews arrived to witness flames shooting up to 50 feet above the roof, but a large contingent of firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. Almost 40 people were displaced by the fire that completely destroyed eight apartment units and left many others with varying degrees of water and smoke damage.
Even a relatively small building fire can easily cause widespread property damage and indoor air quality issues in multi-tenant complexes and in densely built neighborhoods. This is primarily due to smoke infiltration and the soot residues left behind. There are four major types of smoke commonly associated with structural fires, they include:
- Wet Smoke
- Dry Smoke
- Protein Smoke
- Petroleum Smoke
“The type of smoke is dependent upon factors such as the speed and temperature of the fire and what materials were consumed by the flames,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “Any one of these four common types of smoke can leave behind odors and respiratory irritants while also discoloring materials and even etching surfaces.”
Smoke residues are not the only concern as fire suppression efforts, especially in multi-tenant buildings, often results in water damage to adjacent units and even nearby buildings. If not quickly addressed, this moisture can lead to the growth of mold. Even efforts to clean-up after a fire or rebuild a damaged property can lead to exposure concerns associated with lead-based paints and asbestos-containing materials that are still commonly found in older buildings.
To identify exposure risks following a fire, LA Testing offers all of the sampling supplies and testing services needed for smoke residues, mold, asbestos, lead and many other potential hazards. Not only will identifying these materials help to protect building occupants, but they can also be instrumental during the insurance claims process. LA Testing has also sponsored an online video about fire, smoke and water damage that can be seen at: http://youtu.be/8tEl-BOvwNw.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other substances. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.
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