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Old 04-25-2007, 04:37 PM   #1
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What contaminates should I be concerned with from a partially burned school building?

On April 13 my childrens elementary school had a fire that condemned 9 classrooms and the remaining building had severe soot/smoke damage. A fire restoration company came in and cleaned for a week and claims the building is fit for habitation. As a concerned parent, I am looking for some help. Can this be a safe environment for elementary age children who touch everything and we all know whatever they touch goes to the mouth? Are their air and soil quality tests sufficient (the test results are Greek to me, Ithink they tested for asbestos and mold)? Should I be concerned with the dust that is still falling (carcinogens)? School resumed on Tuesday April 24, they had an open house on Monday evening and you could smell some smoke smell and there was light dust on everything you touched revealing a brown to black hand afterwards. I sure the place spit polished before the open house and there was still dust, my eyes were burning slightly after the 30 minutes (I can't imagine being in there for 8 hrs.). I haven't sent my children back, but now feeling pressure of them being truant. Does/has anybody been in this situation or can you help with understanding the enviromental safety at stake?+++

 
Old 04-26-2007, 07:17 AM   #2
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Re: What contaminates should I be concerned with from a partially burned school build

my best advice to you would be to call the local area EPA,and ask them any questions you need answers to.in most cases,any residual products left behind from a structure fire are not really anything toxic,BUT alot depends on just what actually burned and if there was anything underlying that was brought to the forefront that was once 'hidden' pre fire,you know what i mean?i would really just call them first and go from there.hopefully this is just the normal lingering stuff that is a result of anything that actually burns.after being a FF for many many years i saw alot of residual crap that is just left behind from products of combustion.part of that is kind of an oily sooty residue EVERYWHERE,and that smell that can linger for a very long time.it is not actually a toxic situation in most cases,just a huge pain to have to fully clean up from.

Like i said,just make a call to your local chapter of the EPA,they should be able to at least answer some simple questions and refer you to anyone else that may be needed.Even calling your state fire marshalls office could help too.good luck and i hope all is eventually well there.FB

 
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Old 04-27-2007, 05:06 AM   #3
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Re: What contaminates should I be concerned with from a partially burned school build

Thank you very much for your input, any info is greatly appreciated.
I will visit the school Monday morning and decide whether to send my children back. The inside air quality (I'm told) is getting better.
Again thanks for your input.

 
Old 04-27-2007, 09:10 AM   #4
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Re: What contaminates should I be concerned with from a partially burned school build

If your kids have any respiratory problems (ie asthma) I wouldn't send them back for quite a while. I hope they removed all plastic from the school and replaced it.

I know in a house fire they tell you to replace all your kids toys and any plastic pieces because of carcinogens.
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