101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Monday, June 22

You Make the Call...Electrical room...What Happened

Funniest thing about this whole experience was the shoppers. Every time we're in this store shopping, in our uniforms, people ask jokingly "Is there a fire?" The one time we're in there in full PPE, airpacks and tools, not to mention smoke and sparks, people are pushing past us and moving the obstacles in place to keep them safe. "But I just need..."

In the back we are imagining the tongue lashing this manager is going to get not only from us, the Battalion Chief and the Bureau but corporate when they find out I cut the power during the evening rush.

Then it occurred to me, we only need to move enough to get in. I told the truckman to get ready, we were starting a soda case brigade line. I started grabbing cases and throwing them to my right, while he grabbed them from the floor and started another pile. It was a great workout. 5 minutes later we had a nice access corridor through the soda and I removed my airpack and crawled in.

I simply threw the pallets over the fence and finally gained access to the panels when I found that the remodel cut a few corners, like labeling the breakers.

There were more than a dozen labeled "Produce case." So I shut them all down.
During the renovation they had a few months prior, the shutoffs for the water jets were built into a display case. Conveniently, the one sparking. Dang you Murphy and your stupid law.

We were able to remove all the vegetables and gain access to the shutoff, turned off the water and found the culprit. A non GFCI plug from the old layout was simply covered over in the remodel and the water apparently finally made it down to the floor and the wood was smoldering, possibly for hours or days before it got this bad.

Why it was sparking so high in the display we never discovered, but when the Manager came running over demanding the power be restored, the Chief just advised they await the Fire Inspectors, who were enroute.

We didn't stay for the fireworks between people, we had enough enough from the vegetables.

If you said mitigate the hazard as safely and as quickly as possible, you made the right call.

1 comment:

Firecap5 said...

How did it work out for them with the inspectors? I hope they got a good solid spanking!