On March 7, 2018, a five-story construction site in Denver was rapidly engulfed in flames, killing two and injuring at least six more people. All in all, 13 buildings were damaged or rendered uninhabitable and 30 cars were completely destroyed, resulting in smoke and ash debris raining throughout downtown Denver.
The use of spray foam insulation in the building may have been a primary factor in the severity of the fire. Jordan, Herington & Rowley is currently investigating this incident, along with many others, in which spray foam insulation may have acted as an accelerant in the fire.
If you or a loved one were affected by this incident or any other in which spray foam was a factor, contact us today. Our Denver burn injury attorneys understand how to investigate and handle complex claims involving spray foam insulation and can help.
What is Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray foam insulation is a mix of chemicals that is sprayed inside the walls of some structures in order to create a dense, tightly packed foam barrier for thermal insulation. It can be composed of materials such as polyurethane and polyisocyanurate and can be found everywhere from residential homes to commercial office buildings.
Who Manufactures Spray Foam Insulation?
Common manufacturers of spray foam insulation and their products include:
- Lapolla Industraies – Foam-LokFL500
- BASF Corporations – Enertite Spray foam insulation
- Demilec – Agribalance
- Johns Manville – Corbond
- Icynene – Classic Max
Although firefighters are currently investigating the type of spray foam insulation used in the Denver construction fire, they have not singled out a specific manufacturer.
If you have been affected by a fire and suspect spray foam insulation to be a contributing factor, Jordan, Herington & Rowley can help you explore your options for legal recourse.
Why is Spray Foam Insulation Dangerous?
Although spray polyurethane foam is an excellent thermal insulator, it has high risks and danger involved with installation and use.
It is incredibly flammable
- When foam insulation is used inside buildings, regulations are put in place to ensure it is unexposed to the elements. Often, codes require thermal barriers to be installed in front of foam insulation to prevent ignition.
It is a rapid accelerant
- Spray foam burns rapidly and violently when ignited, releasing intense amounts of heat and smoke is a short period of time. In some circles, such as the insurance industry, foam insulation is often known as “liquid gasoline.” By comparison, other forms of insulation such as fiberglass and cellulose either burn slowly or not at all.
It is particularly dangerous in construction sites or renovations
- Partially exposed foam insulation, combined with multiple sources of open flames, such as welding torches, heat sources, and smoking, can create an incredibly high-risk situation in construction sites.
Improper installation can cause ignition
- Spray foam is created by the mixing of chemicals. This reaction is exothermic – it releases a considerable amount of energy and heat. If a person is not properly trained to install foam, this exothermic reaction can actually ignite the spray foam.
Ignited spray foam can produce irritating, toxic gases
- Dark, black smoke and gases are released during the burning of spray foam, which can contain chemicals which can be irritating or toxic when inhaled.
Ultimately, the use of spray foam insulation comes with a laundry list of drawbacks that can potentially cause catastrophic, life-changing events.
If you or a loved one were a victim of a fire in which spray foam insulation was the primary factor, contact Jordan, Herington & Rowley immediately. We can help you explore your options for recovery and damages during this tough time.
Our Fire Attorneys Can Help You Today
Spray foam insulation fires are often severe and life-altering, but they could have been easily avoidable. Nobody should have to suffer catastrophic losses and serious injuries due to the negligence, recklessness, or apathy of those constructing and planning buildings.
The Denver personal injury attorneys at Jordan, Herington & Rowley are committed to helping victims of serious accidents fight for the maximum recovery and damages possible. We keep our clients’ best interests in mind, and do not hesitate to go to trial for our clients.
We are compassionate lawyers with the experience, knowledge, and understanding that is crucial to being an effective lawyer in any spray foam insulation fire matters. Contact us today for a free consultation.