February 8th, 2023
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
On January 18th, a three-alarm fire destroyed a 113-year-old building in downtown Laurel, Delaware. Fire damaged the three story beyond repair. The fire was reported at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to Laurel Fire Company spokesperson Mike Lowe. Arriving crews saw smoke coming from the building’s third floor.
The flames then began spreading after that, shooting out of the windows and reaching heights several stories above the building’s roof. Fire companies from the surrounding region responded with mutual aid. The State Fire Marshal’s Office and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to the scene to investigate the cause of the blaze.
The building had no occupants at the time as the second and third floor underwent renovations. The No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, which is on the building’s first floor, was not occupied at the time of the fire. Automatic sprinklers were reportedly provided in the restaurant kitchen as well as a special protection system under the hood and over the cooking surfaces.
A neighbor said he noticed what he thought was a thick fog outside his apartment. Then he realized the fog was, in fact, smoke from the fire. Smoke engulfed the entire building and the windowpanes cracked from the heat. As soon as the windowpanes came out, it was an inferno. Crews spent hours controlling the fire. The shell is all that remains.
Risk Logic published a report on Fire Safety During Construction. According to the U.S. Fire Administration , in the United States an estimated 4,800 fires occur annually on construction sites. Please contact Risk Logic for additional details on how to protect your construction project from a damaging fire.