Grand Teton engine companies, with support from two Jackson Hole Fire and EMS stations, responded to two fires and two alarms within Jackson Lake Lodge within four days.
On the evening of Thursday, July 30th, a flash fire broke out when a server opened the door of a “hot box” designed to keep food warm during catering events. While lodge personnel attempted to extinguish the fire with water, the building alarm activated and the building was evacuated.
The fire was contained to the hot box and responding engine companies checked the building to ensure that no other ignition had occurred. Investigation revealed that the seals on the hot box had failed, allowing pyrolysis to create off-gassing from the fiberglass insulation. The gases that had built up inside the hot box had been instantly ignited by open sterno flames in the bottom of the box when the server opened the door.
Around 2:30 p.m. on the afternoon of Sunday, August 3rd, alarms were activated in the Jackson Lake Lodge by smoke coming from HVAC vents in the Explorers Room, a large conference room capable of hosting more than 400 people.
Responding units included engines, an ambulance and a truck company. During an extended search of more than two hours, teams followed the smoke back to a heat exchanger in the HVAC system, where charred debris from an unknown source was found in the heating system. The facility was reopened to the public at 5 p.m.
There were also two fire alarms on August 3rd. One occurred in the morning, when an unknown individual pulled a fire alarm box on the rear deck of the Jackson Lake Lodge; the other occurred during the HVAC incident when an alarm activated in the Jackson Lake Lodge employee laundry for an unknown cause.
The effective responses to these incidents came about through cross training between the park and Jackson Hole Fire/EMS and Teton County, including weekly fire meetings, EMS refreshers, in-service opportunities, and county-wide emergency drills.
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