A selection of photos from typical past projects are shown below, together with a short summary of work completed.
1999 Ford Power Plant Fire & Explosion Investigation (Dearborn, Michigan) - This natural gas/coal dust explosion and fire resulted in 6 deaths and 38 injuries. The cause was determined to be an unintentional open gas valve, allowing natural gas to enter a boiler during a shutdown operation. The boiler burst at its seams during the initial explosion and ignited lofted coal dust (see NFPA Journal article, July/Aug 2004 - link available under Publications).
Process Building Explosion Investigation (Belvidere, IL, 12/09) - This catastrophic explosion heavily damaged an industrial building and resulted in one fatality nearby. It was caused by the failure of a large, very high pressure vessel within. The investigation was conducted jointly with the Chemical Safety Board.
Sofa Superstore Fire Investigation (Charleston, SC, 6/07) - This fire involved a large commercial furniture showroom and warehouse, and resulted in the death of 9 firefighters (due to structural collapse). The investigation focused heavily on building/fire code issues.
Computer Fire Model Simulation of a Fatal Apartment Fire - This model was constructed to examine smoke alarm response and toxic gas development during a fatal apartment fire, as well as in response to allegations regarding the point of origin. Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) model software was using during this analytical investigation.
Time Sequence Explosion Test of Toy Caps Package (2000) - This testing program, conducted in western Colorado, involved the bulk packaging of toy caps, and related to an accident where several deaths and injuries occurred in a plant in California in '97. Several tests explored different product configurations. An approximate TNT equivalency was determined.
Example of Large Origin & Cause Investigation, During Scene Processing of a church fire (Sycamore, IL, 2/04) - This fire/ explosion investigation involved one of the largest documented backdraft explosions, occurring in a church sanctuary. The origin of the initial fire was found to be in an adjoining basement, caused by failure of church organ components.
Natural Gas Dispersion Simulation Model of Gas Leak into the Basement of a Commercial Building (St Cloud, MN, 12/98) - This model simulation was prepared in response to a need to determine the rapidity of natural gas migration from a large leak located underground next to the building. Natural gas had migrated through the basement wall, filled portions of the building to within the flammable limits, and subsequently exploded, resulting in several deaths and injuries. The analysis allowed the estimation of leak rate flow into the basement. Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) model software was utililized during this analytical investigation.
Apartment Building Explosion Investigation (Bergenfield, NJ, 12/05) - This explosion and fire resulted in multiple injuries to the tenants within. The cause was found to be related to a removal of an underground oil tank adjacent to the building, where a nearby natural gas service line to the building was damaged, resulting in a leak. Natural gas from the damaged line migrated into the building and exploded.
Investigation of Aerosol Filling Facility Fire/Explosion (Elkhart, IN, late '90's) - This aerosol filling building exploded during operation, resulting in death/injuries. The material being filled was ethylene oxide. Problems were found with filling equipment compatibility and deisgn for chemicals involved.
Boiler Explosion Investigation in Agricultural Processing Facility (WI, '09). This fire-side explosion of natural gas occurred during the initial installation and comissioining of the boiler, injuring one worker.