Snack Manufacturing Facility Fire

Snack Manufacturing Facility Fire

Background

A fire occurred inside a 50,000-square-foot warehouse utilized by a snack manufacturing facility. The involved building was an old warehouse that had originally housed an aluminum manufacturing facility. The building’s roof and wall structural members were built of concrete upon a solid on-grade concrete slab. The roof was covered with an asbestos slate tile. The building was fitted with a sprinkler system, but all evidence indicates the system was not operational at the time of the fire.

Services Provided

Rimkus Consulting Group was retained to evaluate the origin and cause of the fire. During the course of our investigation, we examined the fire scene, building systems, plant equipment and machinery, and related information. We also interviewed several company managers and employees, as well as several employees of an on-site disposal service provider. Based on our investigation and analysis, we formed the following opinions.

  • The initial fire originated inside the building nearest the location where a grinding machine was positioned.
  • Recovered evidence and witness statements strongly support the fact that the fire was caused as a result of an electrical fault involving the attached 220-volt cord supplying power to the grinding machine.
  • The electrical fault was caused due to physical damage to the power cord as a result of the manner in which it was being used.
  • All other possible causes of the fire were eliminated, such as the grinder, the compactor, lightning, arson, spontaneous combustion, smoking, and the building’s fixed electrical system.
  • The fire was determined to be accidental.

National Practice Leaders

Vice President, Fire Division