Fire Fizzles Out When Soft Drink CO2 Hose Burns
When fire fighters responded to an alarm at the Sorrento Pizzeria in Niagara Falls, Ontario, they found that a fire involving pizza boxes and soft drink cases in the basement had been extinguished. No smoke or excessive heat was noted at the time.
Investigation of the fire, which was reported at 2:18 p.m. last June 15, showed that a plastic hose from a soft drink unit pressurized by C02 had been ruptured by the heat. This allowed a 20-pound C02 tank to spew its contents into the basement fire area. Along with the C02, some syrup from the soft drink tanks also was sprayed over some of the burning material. It was estimated that the tank contained about 18 pounds of C02 when the fire occurred.
We concluded that we had seen the results of an unusual automatic extinguishing system.
An interesting condition was discovered when we insisted that an apparently undamaged BX wiring in the fire area be replaced. When a section of the BX was opened, the insulation was found to be powdered and the wires bare.
As long as the powdered insulation remained in position, it is possible that this circuit would have worked satisfactorily—until vibration caused by normal use of the building shifted the powdered insulation. Then this could have resulted in an electrical fire.