Construction Site Suffers Tolls of Accidental Fires

Olga Ramaz

In less than two months, the new construction site has seen two fire incidents, both of which have been attributed to human error.

The fire incidents of March 12 and February 16 did not bring forth any monetary loses, but did however raise some concern and a call to action.

According to Director of Business Services, Bill Taylor, there is currently a “movement” to clean up any extra brush that can be potentially hazardous.

This action comes directly after the dry brush led to a small fire on February 16, which was contained within 10 minutes by the Glendale Fire Department (GFD), fire station 24, located on Ca§ada Blvd.
However, Geology professor John Leland said that completely removing all of the brush from the area can increase the chances of erosion.

“The positive aspect of having any kind of brush cover our slope, especially such a small slope that is so steep above the parking lot, it helps keep the ground a little bit more stable,” said Leland. “So those roots uphold the rock and soil in place. If it’s a bare slope, it’s going to erode very quickly.”

Four engines and two ladder trucks came onto the scene after they were dispatched at approximately 8:42 a.m.

“There was obvious smoke and there was lots of people who were making phone call,” said Public Information Officer, Capt. Jim Frawley.

At approximately 8:52 a.m., the fire units called “knock down,” which indicated that the fire was completely down.

Reports indicate that the fire was started by sparks that flew from a blow torch that a construction worker was operating.
The most recent fire took place behind the Advanced Technology building at approximately 4 p.m., outside of a welding class.

The origin of the fire is unknown, but Taylor assumes that it could have been started by a student who flicked a cigarette butt near the construction site.
According to Frawley, a wooden shed used by the construction company to store tools and other equipment, caught on fire, creating a dark cloud of smoke.

Commuters and people around the campus reported the incident to the GFD.
Taylor said that the danger of this particular fire would have been if the diesel fuel that was being stored in the shed, would have been ignited by the flame.

Frawley said that this fire was also contained in a matter of 10 minutes and required one engine to arrive at the scene.
He also added that incidents like these are common in construction sites and that the way they can be prevented from happening again is if one takes the proper steps to secure the areas.

The Bhupesh Parikh Allied Health and Science building is scheduled to open in the fall and with so much time in between until the opening, there is still more room for fire incidents.