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Significant Ductwork Cleaning Needed After Fire at Culver City Hospital

Posted on June 23, 2015
by Melissa Asplund

On January 29, 2015, the hallways of Southern California Hospital at Culver City filled with smoke, prompting immediate evacuations of approximately 175 patients and 225 staff members.  Fortunately, the quick response of hospital employees and the 55 firefighters from the Culver City Fire Department and Los Angeles Fire Department who responded to the scene prevented the loss of lives.

It was determined that the fire originated on the roof, after roofing material caught fire next to the intake of the air handler unit.  Smoke was drawn into the handler and traveled down six floors and into rooms of patients in the hospital.  As the smoke traveled through the ducting system, filters became inflamed causing the smoke and fire to spread quickly.  Airtek Indoor Air Solutions was called to assist in the repairs and restoration of the hospital.  Airtek provided specialized ductwork cleaning that was critical to ensuring that the facility was able to return to its normal operational state within a short period of time.


Airtek’s Part in the Project

Airtek Indoor Air Solutions was contacted in the evening of January 29, 2015 by a restoration contractor who had been contracted by the hospital.   Airtek provided immediate assistance and worked hand-in-hand with the restoration contractor to assess the damage to the air duct system and develop a work plan for the restoration process.  Airtek promptly began the ductwork cleaning and restoration of the hospital air ducts at 6:00 a.m. the morning following the fire.


Airtek placed portable AC coolers throughout the six smoke damaged levels while the restoration contractor placed negative machines to scrub the air.  Airtek followed the procedures as set forth in the National Air Duct Cleaning Association’s (NADCA) ACR 2013 standards.  Every linear foot of interior ductwork was hand wiped from the 2nd floor to the 6th floor.  Airtek ensured that the affected 40-ton air handler unit was removed and replaced.  The total cost for the hospital restoration project was said to be around $2.5 million.


The professionals at Airtek worked closely with the Inspector of Record (IOR) and fire marshals to ensure that the ductwork cleaning was done thoroughly and compliant with code.  They also consulted and collaborated with the Director of Facilities, the Hospital’s Infection Control Coordinator, Facilities Safety Officer, and the Director of Nursing Staff.  Airtek took great care to ensure compliance with all aspects of this project, particularly from a health and safety perspective.


Airtek’s team consisted of a 16-man crew, along with the super intendant and project manager, Albert Rolon.  Airtek’s staff was on site every day throughout the duration and completion of the ductwork cleaning and restoration. The Airtek team provided daily progress reports and participated in all required meetings with the hospital administration and contractors during the six-week project.  Upon completion of the restoration of the duct system, all ductwork was inspected and passed by the IOR and fire marshal.  As a direct result of Airtek’s participation in the clean-up and plan, startup and regeneration of the new air handler unit was approved and underway.


Airtek Indoor Air Solutions has a proven record of being able to respond quickly to emergencies and work in collaboration with other contractors and specialists to ensure that ductwork cleaning and restoration projects are completed timely and consistent with health and safety standards.  Regardless if it is emergency restoration or preventative maintenance and ductwork cleaning, Airtek’s professional team is here to help.  For a free quote and consultation for your ductworks needs, call Airtek at 1-877-858-6213.

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