At least 13 dead in Rouen blast

The Guardian is reporting Rouen fire: at least 13 dead in birthday disaster at bar in French city

While anything like this attracts attention it is being described as an accident possibly started by candles from a birthday cake.

A fire thought to have been caused by the candles on a birthday cake killed 13 people at a bar in the French city of Rouen and left at least six others injured, one critically.

Reports said the fire broke out in the basement of the Cuba Libre where the private party was being held on Friday night. At least six people were rescued and received treatment for injuries. The victims were described as being aged between 18 and 25.

Authorities were describing the fire as an accident, possibly started by candles on the birthday cake setting fire to flammable material in the ceiling. According to French media, one of the party-goers was said to have stumbled while carrying a cake with lit candles down the stairs to the lower floor. Flames spread quickly to polystyrene ceiling tiles which gave off a cloud of noxious fumes that choked victims, who were unable to escape.

“There was no explosion, but candles used for a birthday party set light to the ceiling made of polystyrene, giving off a gas that poisoned the victims,” a police official told the AFP news agency.

Lawrence Labadie, local deputy prosecutor, told Paris-Normandie that the fire appeared to be an accident and residents who thought there was a blast had probably heard glass exploding.

So it sounds like an awful accident.

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10 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  10th August 2016

    What kind of genius installs that sort of ceiling ?

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  10th August 2016

      You might be surprised at how dangerous some common household items can be once ignited Kitty. Take an average couch for example. And woe to anyone who leaves an empty teflon coated frypan unattended for too long on a lit gas hob….

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  10th August 2016

        I worked on a commercial project not so long ago, where the entire roof was made of ‘polypanel’, which is 150mm thick polystyrene with a 2mm thick steel sheet on either side. It’s very light, and has great insulation properties, except in a fire….. Crazy huh?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  10th August 2016

          With the plethora of building & other associated regulations Alan is constantly bemoaning pp, how the hell can that even be legal?

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  10th August 2016

            Dunno mate. Possibly because the building has sprinklers installed?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  10th August 2016

              Great. Earthquake. Or for any other reason, pipes or main severed, or water supply otherwise cut. Electrical short or microwave fire, whatever. All over Rover? Or do there have to be backups for sprinklers? Do you know?

            • patupaiarehe

               /  10th August 2016

              Nope, fire suppression isn’t my specialty area. I would certainly hope so though. This is exactly the sort of thing we discuss at work most friday afternoons.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  11th August 2016

          Same deal with cold stores – poly panel walls and ceilings which go off like a rocket when they’re lit up.

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  11th August 2016

            Then some of them use LPG as a refrigerant, because it is cheap. What could go wrong? In a word, Tamahere. One firefighter lost his life, and seven were seriously injured.

            Click to access ca44cf33fe580cebba4ab6a7648e75c0.pdf

            Reply
            • patupaiarehe

               /  11th August 2016

              The legislative framework surrounding the management and use of flammable refrigerants is complex, and it is not clear to what extent the Icepak facility complied with all requirements.
              There are a number of different mechanisms whereby the Fire Service could be informed that hazardous substances are in use at such a facility. The Fire Service could also have identified the facility through its own processes, even though the facility lay outside the Hamilton Fire District.
              Ideally fire crews of the Hamilton district should have visited the facility as part of their own risk planning process, but for a number of reasons, including possibly the site’s location outside the district, this did not happen. The facility itself was always at risk from fire, with very large quantities of combustible material contained in the expanded polystyrene construction panels
              and also in the foodstuffs stored. There were no compliant fire detection or protection systems or
              hydrants, and very limited firefighting water.

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