TRI to the Rescue: Fire Restoration On A Chinatown Apartment Building

A Devastating Fifth Floor Fire That Resulted in 2 Deaths & 4 Injured Required Immediate & Extensive Restoration

TRI responded to damage from a deadly blaze on the 5th floor of a 6-story apartment building in the heart of Chinatown that occurred on April 15, 2022. Sadly this fire resulted in civilian deaths and injuries as well as extensive damage to the building. TRI was on the scene quickly and in full-force to mitigate the effects of the fire and begin the process of restoring the building back to livable conditions.

Scope of the Damage

The most devastating and tragic results of the fire were the 2 lives lost and the 4 injured persons, including 3 firefighters. The structural damage was extensive, spreading throughout the entire building to the point where the city deemed it uninhabitable. Steel staircases that led to the 4th and 5th floors had melted from the overwhelming heat of the blaze. Everything from the 5th floor upwards was completely destroyed including the apartments, common hallways and stairs. Water damage as a result of fighting the fire had soaked the apartments directly under the fire as well as damaging the ceilings of the 2 commercial stores on the main floor. Due to the large size of the fire, the building had extensive soot damage throughout that needed to be addressed.

Challenges Presented

In any emergency restoration project, challenges always present themselves. Here are some that are unique to this particular job:

  • The affected building had no elevator and heavy debris littering the staircases making it difficult for our team to bring in equipment and clear out waste.
  • There was no parking available outside the building that was located on a busy street with heavy vehicle and foot traffic.
  • Our team had to comply with building inspectors work requirements and file the proper permits in order to get temporary electricity restored to the building to run our equipment.
  • Since this was a residence, our team accommodated tenants so that they could sort through their belongings to remove sentimental contents.

Fast & Reliable Restoration

Once TRI received the call about this job, we were on the scene within an hour to begin the extensive restoration process. We quickly cleaned up dangerous glass and building debris from the exterior of the building, street and sidewalk to ensure the safety of the high volume of pedestrians walking by. Acting fast is crucial to avoid mold formation, so we immediately got our generators out to power our drying machines inside the building, extracting harmful moisture. To secure the building and keep out any unwanted visitors, we coordinated a board up of broken windows and doors that could allow access. Once we had established temporary power to the building, we set up lights to maintain the safety of everyone who entered and were able to power our tools, drying equipment and air scrubbers. The areas of the building that received the most damage required total demolition. In total, we gutted 18 apartments that we completely destroyed due to fire and water damage.

Over the course of a month, TRI had a team of 31 workers on site every day for a month in order to complete this job, performing daily debris removal and cleaning all areas. We worked during Easter and on the weekends to restore the building as fast as possible. As always, we worked with the insurance company, property management team and building super to get this job done with no out of-pocket expenses.

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