Restoring a Fire Damaged Restaurant
The worst nightmare for any restaurant is having to deal with a disaster. Statistics show that 50% of businesses that sustain a catastrophe never re-open. Unfortunately, Pasta House in Union, MO had to deal with that nightmare scenario after suffering a kitchen fire on the evening of January 28th. SERVPRO of Franklin County was there to help the next morning.
After seeing a post about the fire on Facebook, our owner, Jerry Alvey, met with the owner of Pasta House and the Union, MO fire chief. Jerry assessed the situation and determined that the kitchen and dining room would need a thorough cleaning, while structural repairs were needed in the kitchen. After speaking with Pasta House’s adjustor, SERVPRO got approval to move forward with the job.
The first step was making calls. Lots of them.
Subcontractors were called to handle electric, mechanical repairs for cooking equipment, repairs to the security and alarm system, and repairs to the acoustic ceiling. An architect, the city of Union, and the Union fire inspector were also called.
SERVPRO also got a dumpster set up immediately to clear the debris and damaged contents in the building.
To help handle such a large loss, SERVPRO called in its Extreme Response Team, Team Wolfe. One of the benefits of SERVPRO’s franchise system is that no loss is ever too big, and there’s always help from groups like the Extreme Team if necessary.
In the meantime, SERVPRO’s employees began removing the damaged ceiling tile in the kitchen and addressed the odor by setting five air scrubbers and four hydroxyl generators.
Jerry also completed the diagram for the building, as the adjustor wanted to see it when they met the next day. He also spent the rest of the day measuring, scoping and estimating.
On day two, the adjustor for the job and project manager Hank from the Extreme Team came out and a plan of action was put into place. Jerry and Team Wolf spent the day developing the scope of repairs and estimating, getting tentative repair costs.
Since the ceilings were 15 feet tall, the group strategized about how best to clean them. After debating between man lifts, scaffolding and ladders, it was determined that ladders would be the best option because they would be the easiest to work around. Ladders create safety issues, and there always needs to be three points of contact (two feet and a hand) with someone on the ground steadying the ladder. The crew members on the ladder were to detail clean from top down, moving left to right. First they HEPA vacuumed the entire interior of the building, then they wet cleaned.
It was also determined with the Extreme Team that there should be 12 crews with two supervisors and a project manager overseeing the cleanup. The crews would be on 10-hour shifts for six days. Every morning, the crew members would line up at 7 a.m. in front of their supervisors and they were checked to make sure they were wearing their personal protective equipment, which included hard hats, safety glasses, respirators, gloves, and steel-toed footwear. They would also hold a daily safety meeting.
They also strategized about what order the cleanup should take place and what the priorities were, with the goal being to open the restaurant back up as soon as possible. For most of the cleanup, the source of the fire damage in the kitchen had to be worked around because the fire inspector was still trying to determine the cause of origin.
After structural cleaning was completed, air duct cleaning began. Pasta House had an extremely large duct system with five units that required detailed cleaning due to the amount of smoke. When the duct cleaning started, SERVPRO also began sealing and painting both the kitchen and the dining room. Both the duct cleaning and the sealing and painting took three days.
While SERVPRO was painting, the alarm company came and replaced what was necessary to re-open, which was the smoke detectors and CO detectors.
Around this time, the architect submitted his sketch of the ceiling and lighting layout which was reviewed by the city. After the sketch was in, the acoustic ceiling company was able to start. They worked in conjunction with the electric company to replace the lighting.
On Feb. 13, SERVPRO was approved to cut out the damaged wall from the source of the fire, with the goal being to re-open the restaurant the next day. The cause and origin folks completed their investigation and turned this area over to us. Once the wall was cut open, the city inspector and fire inspector came and determined there were four circuits in the wall that were burnt and needed repair. The electrician made the necessary repairs late into the night, and the inspector accommodated SERVPRO and Pasta House by coming back at 6:30 a.m. the next morning to approve the repairs and allow the close-up of the wall with fire-rated drywall. The inspector came back again at 12:30 p.m. to approve the re-opening of the building, which was slated for 3 p.m. SERVPRO continued to put the finishing touches on the cleanup until Pasta House’s doors re-opened that afternoon for Valentine’s Day.
SERVPRO was incredibly proud to get Pasta House re-opened in just 16 days. We knew how important it was for Pasta House to get back in business to save them from costly losses from being closed for an extended period, and we worked diligently to make their disaster "Like it never even happened."