Friday, March 25, 2011


On Thursday, March 24th, at the FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference),  Fire Chief, Kevin Gallagher, from the Acushnet, MA Fire Department stunned a classroom of firefighters with the horrors of modular housing.  He talked about a fire that consumed a modular home in January 2010. 

He spoke of the glue holding the ceiling drywall in place as the reason the fire spread along with the dead air space between the floors.  He did an investigation of the fire and concluded that the modular industry builds homes prone to failure.

What he didn’t mention was fire started because the homeowner was sitting on an after-factory porch after a party, smoking a cigarette, which was left unattended after he went to bed.  The cigarette ignited the porch where the fire spread and caught the house on fire.  Human error and it could happen to anybody’s house.

But not content to let it alone, Boston’s Fox TV 25 sensationist reporter, Mike Beaudet, spun the story to the point that every modular home in the state was suspect even though every building code put in place by the state was met or exceeded by the modular factory.

The Fire Chief became a celebrity within the state, thanks to Fox 25, and thinks the only way to keep attention on what thinks is a major problem in the modular industry is to keep talking about it.  You know what they say, speak long enough and loud enough and people will start taking your message as gospel.

The modular housing industry presented reams of evidence that the glues used and the dead are space are well within building code guidelines but it fell on deaf ears when the MA building codes were amended to require mechanically fastened ceiling drywall, costing MA new home owners more money.

I’m sure that Mr. Gallagher is making these classroom visits to help insure the safety of his fellow firefighters and our industry applauds his efforts.  We just wish that he would present all the facts when he makes his speeches including that the fire was human error and not caused by the modular home. 

All national building fire codes were put on the books because of fires in stick-built homes, not modular.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They should have been required to travel to Rahway when the fire hit the Complex that Excel Built. There was a fire on the 3rd story, that didn't make it to the second and first floors due to the construction of the units.