epic Creative Co-Op Suffers a Fire in the Studio - Everyone is OK, but the Studio is a Mess.

January 27, 2012 - Tough day today. We had a fire in the epic Creative Co-Op. The good news is no one was hurt, but the studio portion of the building suffered extensive damage. 

The day started off fine, but at 8:45am, Mike Huffine of Silver Rock Productions arrived and saw smoke coming out of the back of the building. He entered and realized the smoke was indeed from a fire inside the studio. He immediately came to my office, called 911 and he and I went out to see what we could do to stop the fire. Mike opened the studio doors and I got a garden hose. With the door open, we sprayed water onto the flames coming from the northwest corner of the studio. The spray from the hose knocked the fire down, and several local fire departments arrived minutes later. 
The fireman entered the building and with their hoses, and other tools quickly got the fire under control. The damage at this point was not bad – but it would get worse later. 
The cause of the fire was from a hole we had cut in one of the metal containers to run an AC line to the roof four days earlier. While using the plasma cutter, the cellulose in the wall had caught fire. The guys put out the fire, and removed the cellulose thinking they got all of it that had been on fire. Unfortunately, there must have been some embers left in the wall/ceiling. It took 4 days for these embers to get hot enough to turn into a blaze.
The fire took about 2 hours to put out, and most of the trucks and emergency equipment left the area, but one truck and inspector stayed behind. And it was a good thing they did, because they soon spotted smoke coming from the attic area beyond the area they had been working in. Back came the trucks and this time they really took down large sections of the interior ceiling and walls.  This is known as a “rekindle”, and when that happens the fireman take no prisoners.  Needless to say, the place is a mess.
We were just days away from finishing the entire building project. We have new tenants scheduled to move in on February 1st, but they came by and said not to worry about meeting this date. They will move in when the building is ready to go. Luckily we have a good insurance company (Hartford), and the claims adjuster came out and got a cleanup crew out here right away. An army of clean-up workers are scouring the building now (it is 9:00pm). They will work until 1:00am, and return tomorrow to complete the initial clean up.
For those interested in knowing how a container building did in a fire, only one word is necessary – EXCELLENT! The only damage sustained by the 11 containers used in our building were from smoke, and the heat from of the fire burned some of the paint off one of the walls. The part of the building that sustained the most damage was the studio which was constructed using traditional building materials.
We have contractors scheduled to come on Monday to give us estimates for making the repairs. We think the fire will set us back 30 days. The night before, Mike and I were doing a photo shoot in the studio and commenting on just how nice everything had come together, and that the studio design was everything we had hoped for.  Life can change quickly, but we will weather this storm and the epic Creative Co-Op will rise from the ashes to become the world class production studio we set out to build.
Thanks to everyone who has called and offered their support! We will update the blog with additional information as it becomes available.


Category: Container Building,