Imagine working on a building for an entire year, only to come to your jobsite and find that it had burned to the ground. That was the reality for a construction crew in Oakland last week, when a massive five-alarm fire started overnight and completely destroyed all of their hard work.
At the time of the fire, about 80% of the work had been completed on the 41-unit residential building, according to NBC4 Los Angeles. The reported $6-million project caused a bit of a controversy in the neighborhood when it was approved, as tenants of the existing properties on the site had to relocate to make way for the new building.
It’s currently unclear what started the fire, but thankfully no one was injured, as no workers were on site at the time. The fire also did not spread to neighboring houses, which was a huge relief for firefighters and the nearby residents. It’s reminiscent of a 2014 Houston apartment complex, in which a small fire grew into a massive fire and engulfed the entire $50 million project. AN incredible video was released of a worker, who was trapped on the 5th floor and had to swing himself onto a 4th floor balcony to avoid the growing flames. You can watch that video by clicking here.
CBS SF Bay Area shared raw video footage of the fire and it’s super intense. Below the raw footage, you can check out some news footage from The CBS news team.
Full story: 'Huge Balls of Flames' Rips Into Oakland Construction Site | NBC4
If this video of construction worker’s chasing down an alleged tool thief and hanging onto the hood of his car wasn’t enough to convince you to not mess with construction worker’s things, then maybe this new video will be. Construction worker’s tools and trucks are their livelihoods, and they don’t take too kindly to people who don’t understand that.
Directional boring, or horizontal directional drilling, is a common method for installing underground pipe and conduits, among others. Its main benefit is that it minimally disturbs the areas around where your pipe or cable needs to be installed. Instead of cutting concrete, asphalt, or ripping up landscaping, the boring machine digs a tunnel underground and the installing material slides in after it’s complete.
That’s what it’s SUPPOSED to do anyway.
You may remember a story we shared at the end of June about a rescue of a construction worker who was dangling from a suspended scaffold 15 stories in the air. The Sarasota County Fire Department completed a very skilled rescue, in which one firefighter scaled down the side of the building to the trapped worker, attached him to a harness, and both men were hoisted back up to the roof. The cause of that failure was a snapped line. At that time, the fire chief mentioned that he rarely sees events like this and that only 5 or 6 rescues like this have happened in his 29 year career.
Smoke stack demolitions are always fun to watch because they typically stand much taller than the buildings surrounding them, giving cameras great views of the carnage. They don’t always go well, like when a 2.6 million pound brick stack fell directly on top of an excavator (the operator was fine, by the way), but they’re always dramatic.
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.