Largest Fire in the World in 2002 in Dallas, Texas Mon Jul 19 07:07:12 2010 in
During the summer of 2002, the largest house fire in the world occurred in Dallas, Texas. The “Chateau du Triomph” a French Chateau style home situated on Dallas’ Billionaire row was just a few doors down from the home of Texas billionaire Ross Perot. The home, valued at $45 million or more , was a 43,000-square-foot (70,000 square feet under roof) , three-story structure, had an indoor Olympic-size swimming pool, two master suites with custom marble tubs carved in Italy from a single block of Carrera marble, a wine cellar with a tasting room, an indoor theater for 45, two two-bedroom servant's apartments above the 16-car garages, and a two-bay automatic indoor car-washing facility. There also was a 17,000-square-foot basement, and a 2,448-square-foot gatehouse .
Experts at Kodiak spent several weeks at the loss site along with many other fire investigation experts determining the origin and cause of the fire. Since the structure was under construction, there were several other parties that were put on notice in case the investigation identified them as potential targets of subrogation. This case is active, on-going and in litigation.
The investigation included the analysis of the complete electrical system which consisted of a 277/480 volt three phase supply, nearly a dozen load centers, and a complete low-voltage control system. Also investigated were the 68 air-handlers that handled the HVAC needs of the structure. Although the site was very large and the investigation slowed because of the presence of several other investigators representing other interested parties, the methodology discussed in NFPA 921 was used to organize and conduct the site processing. Kodiak's staff worked alongside the site manager (lawyer for the property owner), the insurance carriers (four separate underwriters), the forensic firm hired to determine the origin of the fire, the investigators responsible for analyzing the fire protection system and the investigators responsible for analyzing the fire alarm system. Although Kodiak's staff was capable of handling nearly all of these functions, it is not unusual for large loss investigations to split up responsibilities to insure that all functions are done to the degree necessary. Coordination between members of one's own investigative team is an integral skill of large-loss fire investigation firms.