Columbia, MD – The Restoration Industry Association (RIA), formerly the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration, has awarded the Phoenix Award for Innovation in Reconstruction to Belfor USA in Exton, Pa., for the West End Fire Company Project in Coatesville, Pa. The Phoenix Award for Innovation in Restoration is presented each year to recognize one project from a host of outstanding candidates. It exemplifies the complement of skills required to restore a project to press-loss condition.

An unexpected electrical fire in the attic of a fire company was one of the last places more than 100 firefighters expected to be the morning of July 2, 2006. An historical landmark for the town of Coatesville, the 100-year-old building housed the volunteer fire department, apartments, a social club, banquet hall, meeting areas, and ironically, a fire department.

The fire started in a section of the roof over the banquet hall, located in the center of the 40x140 foot building. Although only about a 20x20 foot section of the roof had totally burned, the fire had eaten through most of the supporting trusses.

Belfor arrived on location while the building was still burning. Once there, the team worked to protect the structure and contents of the building to minimize further damage since a large portion of the roof was already missing. Employees worked 17 days straight, 16 hours a day to remove the old roof in sections, clean debris, and install temporary framing.

The challenging conditions presented by the heat, humidity, summer storms, and 50 mph winds put added pressures on containing the temporary roof and making it strong enough to withstand the winds. In addition, the three-story building only allowed access from two sides because of the adjacent buildings, one of those being a residential area, which precluded round-the-clock work.

Belfor conquered the challenging conditions and worked rapidly to restore the building. Before presenting the award, RIA President, Gary Dooner, CR, described some of the conditions surrounding the project. “Within just 10 days, the company had installed temporary framing and shrink-wrapped the structure to preserve it and the contents from the elements until reconstruction could begin. While the frame and temporary roof cost $50,000, additional mold, water or storm damage could have resulted in a loss of more than $250,000.”

The reconstruction efforts involved setting new trusses for a permanent roof and repairing all the interior spaces. All in all, twenty-five 30-yard dumpsters of debris were removed from the site in order for the company to begin its next project of renovating the roof and all of the interior spaces. Costs for the entire project totaled $750,000.