January 26, 2023 – West Bend, WI – On Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 2:40 a.m., West Bend Fire & Rescue was dispatched for a water flow alarm at Qdoba, 920 W Paradise Dr., in the City of West Bend.
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Engine 3, Tower 1, and Battalion 1 responded. The alarm company called back and advised it was a false alarm. Engine 3 arrived on scene and advised of a small fire and a fire sprinkler activation that controlled the fire prior to their arrival.
Contractors were on scene to clean the vents for the cooking hood system. The contractors did not shut off the gas to the range. They only blew out the pilot lights for the unit. The plastic sheeting they put over the oven to contain the debris from cleaning the ductwork caused enough gas to build up inside the contained area. A spark of unknown origin ignited the methane (natural gas) that was in the flammable range, subsequently activating the fire sprinkler system.
West Bend Fire & Rescue would like to remind everyone to turn off the gas to any appliances where maintenance is being performed. Natural gas (methane) has a flammability range between 5% (lower explosive limit – LEL) and 15% (upper explosive limit – UEL). There were no injuries in this case, but the outcome could have been far worse had there been more natural gas in a wider area around the stove.
West Bend Fire & Rescue would like to thank Qdoba for the release of the surveillance video. We would also like to thank Blair Fire Protection for its prompt response to place the sprinkler system back into service.
Kenny Asselin, MBA, NRP
Is the gentleman in the video ok?