Wasatch Jr. High Fire
A six-alarm fire broke out at Wasatch Jr. High in Salt Lake City, UT. The fire originated in a computer room. School officials attempted to extinguish the fire with local resources: however the fire quickly grew out of control, severely damaging 60% of the structure.
A six-alarm fire broke out at Wasatch Jr. High in Salt Lake City, UT. The fire originated in a computer room. School officials attempted to extinguish the fire with local resources: however the fire quickly grew out of control, severely damaging 60% of the structure. While school and district officials were unsure whether the structure could be salvaged or not, they were positive that much of the school property within the building could be.
Utah Disaster Kleenup mobilized an on-site decontamination and deodorization facility consisting of a 30′ X 30′ events tent, numerous 8′ x 10 ‘ x 40′ shipping containers and 48 foot semi-trailers to process the thousands of school property items that were contaminated by the smoke and fire residues. Portable electrical generation and distribution equipment was installed to provide lighting and power throughout the building for on-site investigators, security personnel, school and district personnel, HAZMAT crews, and UDK property retrieval crews. In addition, trailer- mounted HVAC equipment was installed to condition the air in production areas as daytime temperatures approached 105°.
Utah Disaster Kleenup mobilized extensive work crews to decontaminate and deodorize an estimated $6,000,000.00 worth of property from within the building. School furnishings, critical documents, student files, textbooks, lesson plans and teaching aids, computers, cafeteria equipment, band instruments, wood and metal shop machinery and tools, artwork, and many items of historical significance from the school’s 46 year history were retrieved and completely restored. According to district officials, many of the items looked better than they did before the fire. All property was barcode-inventoried and underwent specialized washing and deodorization processes to remove fire and smoke residues and fire-related smells.
In the area where the fire originated, UDK mobilized riggers and installed shoring and bracing to support the failed roof structure and erected a scaffolding tunnel so that fire investigators could safely access the area and complete their work. UDK installed barrier walls to isolate the workable area of the building from severely fire damaged areas. High volume fans and air filtration equipment were installed to capture fire- related airborne particulates, pressurizing the work area to limit the ongoing soiling and deposit of fire residues from severely damaged areas.
UDK extracted and pumped water from the basement and service tunnels and then dried the work area to limit the exposure of school property to secondary damage from moisture and corrosion. Many unique and critical documents were dried, copied, and returned to teachers and school officials.
The principal of Wasatch Jr. High commented that he had no idea UDK could muster up such a strong response in such a short amount of time. Both insurance and district officials were well pleased with the results and the cost savings of restoring the school property. UDK delivered the bulk of the restored property to a neighboring junior high school where temporary facilities were being installed to allow displaced Wasatch Jr. High students to attend school in the fall.