Laboratory Fire at a University

Categories: Education, Decontamination, Preservation & Stabilization, Fire & Soot

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Claus Christensen
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AREPA employee decontaminating Ultraviolet hardener
Morten Fallesen Pedersen
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AREPA employee decontaminating power supply rack
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AREPA utilized water vacuum machines to remove the water that leaked in
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Spray coater machine – one of the laboratory equipment that was contaminated
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Cleaned laboratory equipment ready for return to the laboratory

When a small fire developed inside a vacuumed hood, the fire spread and caused fumes and soot to contaminate two laboratories inside a university. Envista Forensics UK was tasked to perform the investigation, and approximately 100 items of lab equipment were listed and samples were sent to AREPA’s lab in Silkeborg. AREPA was requested to estimate a decontamination/reinstatement quote for the equipment, based on the list of equipment and sample results.

Challenges & Logistics

The results of the samples showed minor chloride contamination. AREPA provided a quote for the decontamination and guaranteed the cleanliness and functionality of the equipment. The university agreed and hired AREPA to perform the decontamination services.

To enable the cleaning and restoration of the labs by a damage control company, all equipment was relocated to a neighboring lab within the university to perform the decontamination work. Four days into the project, another challenge presented itself when heavy rain penetrated the roof in the work area. To save the equipment from further contamination, AREPA staff moved the equipment and utilized water vacuum machines to remove the water that leaked in through the roof.


Four AREPA technicians performed and completed the decontamination work within two weeks, prioritizing the equipment with what the university needed the most. AREPA allocated its 10-foot work tool container to the site and shipped it back upon completion. AREPA left the site with a highly satisfied client, completing the work at less than 10 percent of the value of new equipment.


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