May 8th – Odor Investigation (Fire)

3 Chief was contacted by phone by a cook at the Nectar Lounge on Scalp Avenue indicating a possible light ballast malfunctioning.  He indicated that maintenance felt it was a light ballast and had many of the fixtures opened up but could not locate the faulty one.  He also stated there was an odor and a burning sensation of the eyes of the employees.  3 Chief and Engine 3-1 responded to check it out and assist maintenance locating the bad ballast.  Upon arrival the engine crew and maintenance made entry with a TIC.  Half of the kitchen lights were out and the odor was found to be most potent in a back hall area next to a walk-in cooler.  After 5 minutes and unable to quickly locate anything out of the ordinary and the burning sensation getting more prominent…3 Chief requested an upgrade to the incident.  Truck 3-1, Engines 3-2 & 3-3 and Tower 3-1 responded with a total staffing of 11.  As units were arriving on scene, Engine 3-1’s crew was unloading boxes from an upper shelf to access a blocked light fixture in the dark passage of the hall…a box that was tossed landed in a basin that was full of rags and upon impact smoke became visible.  The basin was quickly removed from the structure and upon exposure to the fresh air outside the rags burst into flames.  The Truck crew quickly extinguished the rags using a water can.  It was determined that housekeeping washed and dried those rags less than an hour prior to the issue.  Considering the high temp in a commercial dryer, coupled with the enclosed space and the tight packing of the rags, with the residual oils in the rags caused them to ignite.

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