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  • Fire

    After the lane sanding was finished, all the clean up, the outside freshly painted, we had a FIRE.

    It was not that bad.

    After the league last night, a league bowler said he smelled a fire in the locker room.

    An employee went in there, (I was home) and there was a cloud of smoke at the ceiling.

    They called the FD and they came out and open a couple ceiling tiles and used the imaging camer and found nothing.

    They located the source of the fire in the league bowlers locker that reported the fire.

    A towel was on fire.

    Had to be spontaneous combustion.

    He had possibly used Ultimate Ball Cleaner. It was in his locker with 2 or 3 other towels and socks.

    The FD removed the towel to the parking lot to let the towel smoulder.

    This raises some question:
    1. Are lockers worth it any more trying to get customers to pay each year.

    2. They keep rubbing alcohol, liquor bottles, ball cleaner, multiple towels in their lockers. The potential for a fire is good with all the chemicals and towels they have.

    3. How many centers have had locker fires?

  • #2
    Re: Fire

    So this just happened last night and U think it could be the ball cleaner that caused it? You are probably right,lockers aren't worth it. beside no one can get a 3 ball bag in one to start with. 1/2 the people you have to run down to collect there fee,and then have to do an annual clean out and wind up with a pile of crap some people call bowling equipment.
    People tell me I'm indecisive, but I just don't know...


    • #3
      Re: Fire

      That had to scare the hell out of you. Bowlers do store flammable items that could ignite under the right circumstances. Rental lockers always have a huge demand in our place. At $25 a pop, it's a nice piece of change every year. Are lockers worth the chance of losing your building ?? We had people stashing drugs in the lockers, but no fires.
      "Gun control is the policy of tyrants"
      Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)


      • #4
        Re: Fire

        Spontaneous combustion? I thought that was an old wive's tale. Something about linseed oil and eye of newt...

        The person who reported smoke is the same person who rented the locker in question. Do you find that at all suspicious?

        I was shocked when I went to work at a brand-new 48-lane center and found out there would be NO LOCKERS!!!
        As it turned out, there was very little demand for them. The space that they would've occupied was put to far more productive use instead, and the teenagers just had to find other places to go make out.


        • #5
          Re: Fire

          Is it really possible to have spontaneous combustion with ball cleaner in a locker? About the time I built my home bowling alley I had a fire start in the trash can behind my work table in the back. It spread to empty boxes, foam and finally the sprinkler I put in doused the flames. Always wondered what happened but there was a few rags with oil wiped off and ball cleaner on other rags from me wiping off the bowling balls. After that experience I became really paranoid and keep the trash can outside and put a cabinet outside to store all chemicals. Never been so scared in my life, I was buffing the ball return tray and smelled smoke and ran to the back to find the whole area filled with smoke. First reaction was to run away, then tripped on extension cord and fell. For a moment I thought about being burned alive but other than water on one machine and the back all was fine. Very glad I put in the sprinklers, and it was originally just to get that authentic "bowling alley" feel! Salvaged them and the pipes from a lumber yard that we were learing out Actually installation took only one day even with a hand threader. If it wasn't for the red tape involved I would think that more centers would install those systems. Seems like they can forgive a whole range of mistakes!
          Old and obsolete? It's new to me!


          • #6
            Re: Fire

            Originally posted by tallrick:
            Is it really possible to have spontaneous combustion with ball cleaner in a locker?
            <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Any cloth with natural fibers saturated with a compound that's combustable can ignite spontaneously if the conditions are right.
            -- Larry


            • #7
              Re: Fire

              I'm glad to hear that the fire was only in the locker room. I would hate to hear you become a victim to a fire.
              Become an organ never know who's life you are going to save.


              • #8
                Re: Fire

                Speaking of fires.... the WalMart SuperCenter up the street from my house and two others less than 10 miles away were victums of arson last night. All three were set over a 90 minute period and in the same department.

                My WalMart will be shut down for the next 6-10 days. There was very little flame damage, but the entire inventory in the store will have to be written off due to smoke and water damage. The second store hit will be down for the weekend, but the third won't because they (and all other WalMarts in metro Phoenix) were already on alert by that time and were able to get theirs out quickly.

                My stepson happened to be working parking lot security at my store last night, and he was getting all sorts of praise this morning from store managers for how he handled the situation.
                -- Larry


                • #9
                  Re: Fire

                  Glad all is ok in your center King, as youve put your heart and soul getting that place looking and running good. I've never been a big fan of lockers myself. Ball cleaner and new skin are both very flammable and combustible and most of us carry both in our bags.
                  * this space left blank intentionally *


                  • #10
                    Re: Fire

                    Again, being a member of a fire department, I can tell you that spontaneous combustion does exist... but it's a hell of a lot harder to get started than you would think. A couple towels and socks? Possible, but improbable... usually it requires enough insulating mass to hold in the heat until it builds to a level above the flashpoint (the temperature at which a substance can ignite without an external source of flame to start it burning) of the material. That small of a pile of cloth would probably not be able to hold in enough heat to start by itself. There are a few exceptions, like pouring concentrated bleach on to cotton cloth... it can ignite fairly easily, but it's because bleach is an OXIDIZER. Alcohol and oil are flammables, but they are considered to be accelerant fuels (making fire burn more rapidly), but not usually starting it on their own... they need a source of high heat (above their flash point), or an external source of ignition to begin burning.

                    I would guess that a likely cause would be a pi$$ed off member of a team that the guy helped defeat or dissed them in some way, and they stuck a cigarette or match through the vents in the door (if they exist) to get back at them, or someone who was fully and maliciously intending on starting a fire, and happened to pick that locker to try out their method of doing so.

                    Like any area open to the public that you cannot watch all the time and is not "private" (like a restroom or changing room), I would suggest a couple cameras to both protect your center, and protect your customers' valuables stored in the lockers. If you have a separate room for them, you could also install double 3/4 sheetrock on the walls and ceiling as a firebreak, and install a couple sprinklers... even if a fire broke out, it would take a good amount of time to burn through the drywall and spread into the rest of the building... most likely the drywall and the sprinklers would contain the damage to just that area of the building, but the problem would definitely be noticed before it spread very far. Even if you replaced your ceiling tiles with cut pieces of 3/4" painted sheetrock, you would better protect the ceiling from the possibility of fire spread... even though regular commercial tiles are "fire resistant", they will become britle and crumbly under the heat of a fire, allowing it to break through them and spread.

                    In your case, king, I would still consider that to be rather suspicious, and would continue to be very alert to other suspicious activities in the center.

                    We have a spark running around this area, too... one of the areas I travel through for work has had three uninhabited / abandoned buildings burn within a month's time, all within about 2 miles of area. Sad part is, I would almost be willing to bet that if they catch the culprit, they will have some type of involvement in fire/ambulance, or be some other type of 'siren chaser'... since the buildings were all abandoned / uninhabited (and have been that way for quite a while), so far they're not malicious enough to risk any occupants' lives or valables. They probably want the free rush of going to an emergency scene... it happens more often than you think, it gives the rest of us honest public safety personnel a very bad image, and it PI$$ES me off to no end. Anyone who would stoop to that for a free thrill should have a meeting with a tall tree and a short rope as soon as possible. [img]/content/btubb/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/mad.gif[/img]
                    <span style="font-style: italic">Educatio est omnium efficacissima forma rebellionis</span>


                    • #11
                      Re: Fire

                      "They located the source of the fire in the league bowlers locker that reported the fire."

                      Not looking for a conspiracy theory here but is it a
                      coincidence that it was the same bowler's locker?

                      Glad the damage was minimal King!

                      My first end of season locker cleanout was in 1978, and even back then it didn't seem like the lockers were "worth it".


                      • #12
                        From 2003 thru 2005 I worked for a company that sold oil, cleaners, parts, capital equipment etc. Had a customer who bought an 8 lane center. One week later center burns to the ground. The FD determined cause of the fire was spontaneous combustion. My company built a ground up state of the art 16 lane center for the customer. Six months after the opening of the new center the man is walking out the door at closing and smells something burning. He opens a door to a small storage room by the front door and observes a small pile of rags smoldering.


                        • #13
                          Forgot to mention when cleaning out lockers: How many rental shoes do you find in them?


                          • #14
                            Twice they have washed rags and dried and put in a plastic bin to have them smolder and carch fire, now they make sure the rags are cool befor putting in bin.
                            For Sale, Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sbrooks View Post
                              Twice they have washed rags and dried and put in a plastic bin to have them smolder and carch fire, now they make sure the rags are cool befor putting in bin.

                              I know that it happens, I had an cherry condition 1993 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins in it burn because of an rag fire. We would always wash our shop and shack bar towels at laundry mat, then i would take back to center. Had them in an garbage bag together and they caught the cab on fire, totaled my truck. I guess the truck was better than the center, but i have missed the truck for quite an while.


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