Fire Equipment Distributor Sued Over Restaurant Fire

March 7, 2018

Firefighters battle a December 2015 fire at the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. restaurant. [Rich Beauchesne/Seacostonline, file]


By Elizabeth Dinan

PORTSMOUTH — A second insurance provider for the Gas Light Co. has filed a federal lawsuit blaming three contractors for a massive Dec. 9, 2015, fire in the restaurant and seeks payment from the companies to cover fire-related costs.

The Patriot Insurance Company has filed a civil suit in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire against Tri State Hood and Duct and its affiliate Tri State Fire Protection, as well as Portsmouth Steam of Rye. The three-count lawsuit was filed on behalf of the insurer by Portsmouth attorney John Sherman and seeks an unspecified monetary judgement, while noting damages exceed the court’s $75,000 minimum threshold. The insurer is also seeking interest, plus costs for taking the case to court.

The Patriot Insurance lawsuit claims fire damage at the Gas Light was “caused by the gross negligence, negligence, carelessness and/or negligent acts” by Tri State Hood and Duct, which was paid to inspect, maintain and clean the restaurant’s commercial kitchen hood and ducts prior to the fire.

The suit alleges Tri State Hood and Duct failed to use care during cleaning and inspection, failed to hire proper employees and failed to alert anyone of fire hazards it knew, or should have known existed. The suit claims the Hudson company failed to clean and inspect the kitchen hood and ventilation system, improperly certified they were up to code, improperly installed access panels for fire suppression ducts and chose improper materials for fire suppression ducts and access panels.

In the second count of the federal suit, Patriot Insurance claims Tri State Fire Protection was negligent with regard to inspections, testing and servicing the fire suppression system. The third count alleges Portsmouth Steam failed to properly remove grease and other combustible and flammable materials from the restaurant’s fire suppression system and ducts.

Patriot Insurance is asking for a jury trial and the three contractors have not yet responded to the lawsuit, nor did they respond to the Herald’s request for comment.

The same three contractors are named as defendants in a lawsuit filed Monday by Gas Light insurer Harleysville Insurance. That insurance company makes similar claims in a six-count suit accusing each of the contractors of negligence and breach of contract.

Fire Chief Steve Achilles told the Herald the day of the fire that the blaze started in a duct for a wood-fired oven and burned up through the roof. He said it was possible there was grease in the duct, but that remained under investigation.

Four months after the fire, Gas Light owner Paul Sorli said he had insurance protection for six months of business losses, including keeping his managers on the payroll while the business was closed. When he reopened a year after the fire, Sorli said it took 12 months, $2.5 million and help from restaurant staff, contractors and a friendly local bank to get the building repaired and the business reopened. Sorli also said the fire suppression system for the wood-fired stove failed to activate.


FedEx Receives Fire Suppression System Patent

February 27, 2018

Fire suppressant device and method, including expansion agent patent assigned to Federal Express Corp.
Courtesy: United States Patent and Trademark Office


By Meagan Nichols, Lead Reporter
Memphis Business Journal

Data compression and fire suppression are the subjects of two patents recently assigned to FedEx by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a patent developed by Tawfik Lachheb out of Ladera Ranch, California, was assigned Jan. 23 for “data compression.” Federal Express Corp. was listed as the assignee.

The patent abstract states:

“Methods, systems and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for compressing rows of data stored in a first matrix using run length encoding (RLE) to produce an RLE encoded matrix. Compressing columns of the RLE encoded matrix into a set of arrays by differentially encoding data count values of the RLE encoded matrix, wherein each array in the set of arrays represents a column of the RLE encoded matrix.”

The second patent assigned to Federal Express Corp. on Jan. 23 was a “fire suppressant device and method, including expansion agent” developed by James Popp out of Olive Branch.

The patent abstract states:

“A device for suppressing and/or extinguishing a fire associated with a container may include a housing defining a hollow sleeve and a column configured to be received within the hollow sleeve. The column may define a first chamber, a second chamber, at least one aperture, and a piercing end configured to pierce a barrier. The first chamber may be configured to receive an expansion agent, and the second chamber may be configured to receive a fire extinguishing agent. The device may be configured such that upon activation of the expansion agent, the column extends from the housing so as to enable the piercing end to penetrate the container and to enable the fire extinguishing agent to be delivered into an interior of the container via the at least one aperture.”

Memphis-based delivery giant FedEx Corp. has more than 400,000 employees across the world who help deliver about 13 million packages to more than 220 countries and territories each day. In 2017, it reported $60.3 billion in annual revenue; it also reported $16.3 billion in revenue for the second quarter 2018.

Original story can be found here:

Young Girl Stops House Fire with Extinguisher

February 7, 2018


By Bradford Arick

SANDYVILLE, W.Va. — We’ve seen how quickly flames can destroy lives. But for 8-year-old Kendra Angus, she was determined that wasn’t going to happen.

“She looked there, and the smoke was coming from there,” Kendra Angus explained.

She said she was playing at a friend’s house Sunday when smoke alarms started going off. They saw it was coming from the back of the home, and that’s when Kendra grabbed a fire extinguisher.

“And I was a little scared, but I took it and got it and I took out the first fire, but the wind blew and made it a little bit worse, and then I helped her up the hill and she got it,” the 8-year-old described.

The fire was contained, Kendra’s mom saying she saved that home from going up.

“She stepped up and did her part. I mean if it weren’t for her they might not have a house and she might not have made it out with Kendra’s help,” smiled a proud Megan Thompson.

Thompson herself is a firefighter, along with other family members.

“They’re just in awe that she was so brave,” Thompson said of the reaction of friends and family.

She says she was shocked Kendra was so calm during the whole situation, adding most kids run or hide.

But she says every family needs to have a plan in place should a fire break out.

“Where to meet outside and not to freak out,” Thompson explained.

As for mom and daughter, saving lives seems to be all in the family.

“I’m very proud of her,” smiled Thompson, tearing up.

Kendra says maybe one day she’ll become a firefighter, just like her mom.

The original story can be found here.

New CEO and President for Amerex

January 30, 2018

Harrison Bishop Source: Mac Logue

Larry Whitehead is CEO of Amerex.








By Stephanie Rebman, Managing Editor
Birmingham Business Journal

Trussville’s Amerex Corp. has several new leaders paving the way for the beginning of 2018.

Larry Whitehead, who has served in a variety of capacities within McWane Inc., has been appointed chief executive officer of the company that produces more than 3 million industrial and commercial fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems yearly.

While with McWane, he was president of president of Manchester Tank & Equipment Company for nine years and CEO for four.

Alongside Whitehead will be Harrison Bishop, who began his role as Amerex president on Jan. 1.

Bishop is a former president with The Solberg Companies. In addition to his responsibilities at Solberg, he was on the Amerex executive committee as vice president, strategic initiatives. Prior to his roles in the fire suppression industry, Bishop practiced law for more than a decade, focusing on mergers, acquisitions and general corporate law as a partner at Maynard Cooper and Gale PC.

Andy Payant also started his role executive vice president of finance for Amerex Jan. 1. Payant had been vice president and international controller of McWane Inc. since 2012. Previously, he was McWane’s vice president and controller from 1998 until 2012. Prior to joining McWane Inc., Payant held senior management positions at Compass Bank and Molton Allen & Williams.

Click here to read the original article.

Update on ICAO Activities for the Replacement of Halon in Aircraft Fire Suppression Systems

January 30, 2018

The original PDF can be found here – Replacement of Halon in Aircraft Fire Suppression Systems

Reconsidering Carbon Dioxide as a Fire Extinguishant ~ Status

January 30, 2018

The original PDF can be found here – Reconsidering Carbon Dioxide as a Fire Extinguishant

Minimum Performance Standard Aircraft Cargo Compartment Halon Replacement Fire Suppression Systems Testing

January 30, 2018

The original PDF can be found here – Minimum Performance Standard Aircraft Cargo Compartment Halon Replacement