Saturday, February 23, 2013

Melted Water Lines Extinguish Crouch Museum Fire

  Crouch City Clerk, Kim Bosse, closed up the City Museum office in the Syringa Building at 6:30 p.m., on Sunday, January 20. The next morning, she let herself in as usual, placed her bag on the desk, and noticed her finger left a clear mark on the wall.  
  Upon flicking the light switch, she was dismayed to notice that the newly painted rooms were presenting a rather ghoulish Halloween effect. “Black soot was growing all around the wall paneling and doors, with black string all over,” she says, “I figured out we’d had a fire!”
  Bosse cried “help” to contractor, Scott Leslie, of Castle Mountain Homes, who confirmed there had been a fire under the floor, in the cabin section, near the back bathroom. He says, “It started with the wiring to one of the heaters, then caught the Styrofoam insulation and smoked up.” The old PVC water lines were melted and extinguished the flames.
  The city clerk says, “I felt sorry for the guys crawling around down there. They were right in the mess where the neighborhood cats go potty. We can’t close it off.”
  Damage below the floor involved a large section of burnt-off old wiring; the bottom side of the flooring was toasted, but not severely; PVC pipes were broken and melted; and the joists were smoking. The black string that conjures a horror film is not really string at all. Scott Leslie clarifies: “It’s the ionization of the plastic—positive and negative charges just coming together.”
 “Mostly, it’s just been a big mess to clean up,” explains Bosse. “The plastic tarp under the flooring created toxic acid, which got into the office machines—they’re getting cleaned. The walls are smoky, as are all the pictures. As soon as we get the insurance adjuster here, we will raise the floor joists, which are fine, and put in the foundation.”
  Scott Leslie and Kim Bosse agree that the amount of the damage was at $33K. Castle Mountain Homes has been involved with the plans for restoring the old library building, renamed The Syringa Building, which houses the Crouch Museum and City offices.
  According to Mr. Leslie, Castle Mountain Homes is the only certified restoration company--as far as he knows—in Boise County. “We have ozone and filtration machines running,” he says, “and within thirty days, we’ll have it looking brand new again.”

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