Concern: Howard High School: October 31st, 2022 (CXHOHS2022000254)

Bathroom Across from B210
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
A fire was reported in the 2nd Floor Bathroom across from B210.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment: October 28 and 31, 2022

The Office of the Environment arrived while the incident was under investigation by the Fire Marshall. Access to the bathroom was not permitted.

A smoke odor was noted in various locations in the school. 

Several windows had been opened to improve ventilation and reduce the odor. 

Discharge from the fire extinguisher was observed throughout the hallways immediately outside of the 2nd Floor Bathroom.

Custodial Services cleaned the main hallways with a vacuum equipped with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air to limit discharge from being tracked throughout the school. The entry way door to room 211 was also vacuumed.

Once entry had been permitted to the bathroom, a board approved restoration contractor wiped and HEPA vacuumed the bathroom. A dark stain on the block wall, in the immediate vicinity of the fire was on the wall and remained after cleaning. The stain was encapsulated.

The paper towel dispenser (origin of fire) had been removed from the space, presumably by the Fire Marshal. 

Portable air scrubbers were placed in various areas to include the bathroom and the main hallways outside of the bathroom. 

The Office of the Environment contacted Building Maintenance (HVAC) and requested the exhaust fans be operated over the weekend to assist in odor removal. Additionally, it was requested that the air filters be changed in the HVAC units serving the bathroom area. 

The Office of the Environment visited the school the morning of October 31, 2022. No outstanding odors were identified and the bathroom and hallways were adequately cleaned. 

Corrective Actions
October 28th, 2022

A board-approved restoration contractor cleaned the bathroom and encapsulated the stained block wall. 

October 29th, 2022

Building Maintenance (HVAC) changed the filters in Roof Top Unit-A, Outdoor Air Unit-2, and in several Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes. 

October 31st, 2022

Given the building was occupied during the incident, it is likely that minor fire extinguisher discharge may be discovered in other locations. If this should occur, Custodial Services can clean up the tracked discharge as needed using a HEPA vacuum. 

Date Closed
Tracking Number