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Electrical Investigation of Structural Fire

In a large commercial garment cleaning facility, a structural fire occurred immediately after a portable engine/generator set was started to supply electrical power.


Electrical Investigation of Structural Fire

In a large commercial garment cleaning facility, a structural fire occurred immediately after a portable engine/generator set was started to supply electrical power. The fire originated in the 2nd floor office area of the building, causing complete destruction of the office area. A 500kW trailer mounted engine/generator set had been installed and connected at the facility immediately prior to the fire. Fire was detected within minutes of the initial operation of the generator. Our experts were engaged to conduct a detailed examination of the generator electrical terminal board and the associated cables. It was determined that the electrical contractor installed the grounding conductors, but failed to install the critical neutral conductors. After a functional test was performed using the undamaged generator, it was determined that the improper wiring connections made by the electrical contractor resulted in a dangerous overvoltage condition on the 120-volt electrical loads in the office area. That overvoltage condition caused immediate electrical failures and led to the structure fire. As a result of our conclusions, our client was able to recover $500,000 from the installer without a trial or expert depositions.

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