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House fires caused by the heat of the exothermic reaction during spray foam installation

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Martin Holladay | Posted in Green Products and Materials on

Long-time GBA readers will remember our news story on the tragic fire in Hudson, Québec last year — a fire that destroyed Sevag Pogharian’s net-zero-energy house when it was only weeks away from completion.

The initial investigation indicated that the fire may have been caused by excessive heat buildup from the exothermic reaction that occurred during installation of the home’s spray polyurethane foam insulation.

Today I received an e-mail from Pogharian, who wrote:

“Hello Everyone:
“The Alstonvale Net Zero House, an ambitious demonstration project forming part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s EQuilibrium initiative, was totally destroyed by fire on May 25th 2010. The house was approximately six weeks away from construction completion.

“In connection to this event, I am currently compiling a detailed list of incidents of fire involving polyurethane insulation.

“If you have any relevant information, I would be grateful if you would forward it to me. I also ask that you diffuse this appeal for information amongst your contacts.

Thank you.
Sevag Pogharian”

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