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Archive for Monday, February 22, 2010

Oily rags to blame for smoky night at The Oread

Oklahoma basketball team’s preparations for Big Monday game disrupted

Oily rags that combusted Sunday evening caused smoke to fill the lower levels of The Oread. Tenants were briefly evacuated while crews investigated the scene. Damage was estimated to be about $5,000.

February 22, 2010, 12:41 a.m. Updated February 22, 2010, 11:51 a.m.

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Fire crews respond to smoke at The Oread

Emergency crews were on scene at The Oread late Sunday night in response to reports of smoke in the building's lower levels. Tenants were allowed to return to their rooms just before 1 a.m. Monday morning. Enlarge video

Oily kitchen rags were the culprit behind the smoke that brought guests out of their hotel rooms late Sunday night at The Oread.

A basket of kitchen rags that had been washed and were sitting in the laundry room in the bottom level of the hotel spontaneously combusted, producing smoke, The Oread general manager Nancy Longhurst said Monday.

No injuries were reported.

Fire and medical crews received the call about 11:30 p.m. Sunday. When crews arrived at the 10-story hotel at 12th Street and Oread Avenue, they encountered heavy smoke and moderate heat, according to a press release from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical.

Flames never appeared and smoke was contained to the downstairs of the recently opened hotel, Longhurst said. Sprinklers above the basket contained the fire.

The fire department estimated damage at $5,000.

“There’s a lot of cleanup that we haven’t started to work on yet,” Longhurst said.

While guests were called out of their rooms, they never left the building, Longhurst said. Guests remained in the lobby for about 45 minutes.

Because the fire was on a lower level and the smoke didn’t not travel to upper floors, a full evacuation of the hotel was not required.

The Oklahoma men’s basketball team was among guests reportedly staying at the hotel.

Mike Houck, director of communications and radio color analyst for Oklahoma men’s basketball team, said via his Twitter account that everyone had been allowed to return to their rooms just before 1 a.m.

Comments

bigdave 4 years, 11 months ago

OK who is smoking K2 in the laundry room!!

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

D@mn big dave you beat me to the punch ! Because I totally just Saw the FDA and Postal Inspector and the IRS leave the laundry just as the fire started !!

leeroy_johnson 4 years, 11 months ago

This hotel has been plagued since day 1. I see alot of problems with this hotel in the future.

The Oklahoma team certainly picked the cheapest place to stay in Lawrence. Glad to see Universities or should I say companies using wise choices when it comes to budgeting.

Randall Barnes 4 years, 11 months ago

sprinkler head activated and broke off and even the maintence crew did not know how to shut the water supply off.ohhhh yea the owners (David and his wife) are there as well and don't know anything about the building. lmao

zackattackku 4 years, 11 months ago

Wow even the building thinks it is ugly. It is trying to burn itself down..... :-P

TopJayhawk 4 years, 11 months ago

Leeroy you are a dork. They get reasonable rates for large groups. It's close, and you're stupid.

eotw33 4 years, 11 months ago

Depriving the enemy of sleep before their slaughter.... I like it

Tony Holladay 4 years, 11 months ago

I heard someone was filming a new episode for You Tube .....

Should I dry this?..... Gallon of blue paint.

BruceWayne 4 years, 11 months ago

Alex- I guess I do not see the humor here. What if Yellowhouse was on fire? Would that be funny? Based on your comment, you witnessed something last night at the Oread.I hope you will be contacting local authorities to let them know what you saw.

Kookamooka 4 years, 11 months ago

The headline is misleading and incriminating. It basically states, there was a fire and the Oklahoma Men's Bball team is staying there. What the? That's going to come back and bite someone in the...

Flap Doodle 4 years, 11 months ago

Relax and have a popsicle, oread haters. It's a cool and fruity treat on a winter day.

puddleglum 4 years, 11 months ago

you said it snap.

popsicle, that will do it.

Okay, I am certainly not the first-but I will continue to question the safety of the lower levels of this hotel..cars with gasoline in their tanks ABOVE the single exit basement?

Someday there will be a fire, and it will take lives the way this thing is designed.

just glad to hear that Nobody got hurt last night.

what are the sooners doing staying in the most expensive hotel in lawrence?

ralphralph 4 years, 11 months ago

Millionaire athletes stay wherever they want. It's not like they are visiting students ... they're businessmen, plain and simple.

ralphralph 4 years, 11 months ago

ps - don't know anything much about the Oread ... do they really have a single-exit basement below a parking garage? That doesn't sound like anything the inspectors (or whoever) would allow, and I can't imagine that it's accurate.

NewFashionedHippie 4 years, 11 months ago

Hmm did the world company invest in the oread its sure getting its days in the press.

redrose 4 years, 11 months ago

It may be the most expensive hotel in Lawrence, but I have seen better looking rooms in a Super 8. While visiting during their open house and seeing the basement bars, all I could think of was death trap.

royalpain 4 years, 11 months ago

puddleglum (anonymous) says...

you said it snap.

popsicle, that will do it.

Okay, I am certainly not the first-but I will continue to question the safety of the lower levels of this hotel..cars with gasoline in their tanks ABOVE the single exit basement?

Someday there will be a fire, and it will take lives the way this thing is designed.

just glad to hear that Nobody got hurt last night.

what are the sooners doing staying in the most expensive hotel in lawrence?

There are several exits from the basement - are you all really gullible enough to believe there's only one? There are stairwells at both the north and south ends of the building, just like every other building built now. Do you really believe someone would even want to build a building that had only one escape route? From a fire perspective,this is the SAFEST hotel in Lawrence. The thing is constructed entirely of concrete and steel. The newer "stick built" hotels around town would go down in flames way before this building. BTW, the garage is not "above" the basement. It is the basement.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Gene Wallace 4 years, 11 months ago

Has anyone considered the "spirits", aka ghosts, who inhabited the buildings previously on the Oread site? CCG!

mom_of_three 4 years, 11 months ago

I am sure OU got a good rate to stay there, to promote it's proximity to campus, although i am not sure why a visiting team wants to stay practically on campus at a rival school. But hopefully the Oread can get the problems worked out, if they want KU to put guests there and hold functions. I have heard its nice inside from several who have toured it.

redwombat 4 years, 11 months ago

Okay you people who are commenting that this is the most expensive hotel in Lawrence are just simply FULL OF IT!!!! It is not! Part of the deal for building the hotel was that KU has a certain number of rooms available to them at all times at their disposal for a reduced rate. In fact it makes it less expensive than staying at the Spring Hill Suites which was where the teams used to stay. SO STOP talking about things that you honestly have no idea about.

leeroy_johnson 4 years, 11 months ago

@redwombat lol. FULL OF IT!!! SO STOP. I think its time for someone to settle down there.

bookemdano 4 years, 11 months ago

If people here stopped talking about things they "have no idea about" many of the most prolific posters would have nothing to say.

Let's face it, talking out your @ss is practically a national pastime.

LogicMan 4 years, 11 months ago

LJW: "A basket of kitchen rags that had been washed and were sitting in the laundry room in the bottom level of the hotel combusted, producing smoke"

AKA "spontaneous combustion". But I'd wager the rags were waiting to be washed (with soap and water), and not already washed (and thus wet). If barely wet, and no or far too little soap was used, then maybe.

4chewnut 4 years, 11 months ago

The washed rags were oily????? Really? Hope they do a better job with linens and things....

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 11 months ago

"While guests were called out of their rooms, they never left the building"

Is that Code approved behavior, LFD?

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 11 months ago

"While guests were called out of their rooms, they never left the building"

Is that Code approved behavior, LFD?

classclown 4 years, 11 months ago

Multi. No stones from me. How about an olive branch instead?

acg 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm so sick of people ragging on the Oread. They just employed a hundred or more people in our community. In this economic time, that can only be a good thing.

4chewnut 4 years, 11 months ago

The Oread is probably pretty sick of rags, too, right now......

leeroy_johnson 4 years, 11 months ago

@acg I wasn't ragging on the hotel. I was ragging on the wasteful spending of the universities. Other than the oread resembling the sight of a designer that has some kind of passionate love for one type of rock and fake grass I have no problems with it. My cell reception has improved greatly because of it.

fuel_for_the_fire 4 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for my first laugh outloud moment of the day bookemdano.

bigdave 4 years, 11 months ago

Is Kansas going to outlaw rags now?!!!

Denny2009 4 years, 11 months ago

@acg I agree 100%, jobs are needed and the oread provided them. Since the oread has been built all people have done is cried about it or negative headlines have been produced...BOO HOO. Get over it, change is inevitable.. its a new hotel folks... with new staff give... give them a chance to get it right. Everybody complains its an eyesore!...seriously? look around this town and I could pick out plenty of things needed to be destroyed , rebuilt, or shipped out to topeka. You all worry about maintaining the integrity of small/locally owned business, well wasn't another Walmart just built?.. good work!.

ralphralph 4 years, 11 months ago

"spontaneous combustion"?

Okay. So science is not my strong point. But "spontaneous combustion"? I'm not buying it. I've washed a lot of stuff, and dried a lot of stuff, and none of it ever burst into flame. (well, none of it except the cotton gloves I put in the microwave...)

Can anybody with a science brain vouch for this as a possible cause? I'm leaning more towards the combustion being "negligent" rather than "spontaneous".

beawolf 4 years, 11 months ago

Weird. Maybe they should rename the place the "Overlook Hotel". (for those who have read "The Shining".)

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

BruceWayne (anonymous) says...

Alex- I guess I do not see the humor here. What if Yellowhouse was on fire? Would that be funny? Based on your comment, you witnessed something last night at the Oread.I hope you will be contacting local authorities to let them know what you saw.


Note to BrucWayne

Dont believe everything you see or hear on the internet especially on a blog posting. The Internet makes it possible for me to be in Vancouver Canada and post comments on the local forum.

.....What if Yellowhouse was on fire?.....I do believe the owners are still awaiting a trial on charges (5 years 2 months later) On top of that the building is all Brick.

My k2 comment was a follow up to:

bigdave (anonymous) says... OK who is smoking K2 in the laundry room!!

**On a side note I am glad to see your in a hurry to burn down another building you know the best misdirection is redirection I think LPD should prolly bring you in for questioning.

bookemdano 4 years, 11 months ago

hey ralphralph, a quick google search for oily rags spontaneous yielded a ton of links, many of which seemed legitimate. Here's just one of them:

http://www.westmetrofire.org/index.cfm?main.page=article&catid=15&detailsid=86

In short, it is a real phenomenon. Rare, but real.

puddleglum 4 years, 11 months ago

royal pain: "BTW, the garage is not "above" the basement. It is the basement."

umm, yeah it is. 4 decks worth.

wish there was a way to prove it to you, oh wait-here it is: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/nov...

there is one entrance and the hotel claims there is another exit, in case of fire... but look at the double door exit at the Station in rhode island, where a mob fell down and blocked everyone else inside. 100 dead, fire spread in 5 1/2 minutes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stat...

doesn't matter that the walls are stone. There are other flammable materials like fabric, wood, wiring. Once the gasoline catches fire, smoke inhalation will be everywhere.

I just don't want to see a tragedy here.

Brad Maestas 4 years, 11 months ago

Jeez, this place is having a bad week! What a coincidence that this happens when the OK players are staying there. I hope they lost some sleep. ralphralph, it's well known that many oils and solvents are able to spontaneously combust when trapped in fabric and left in a confined space.

puddlegum, not sure of your point bringing up the Station fire as it is a completely different situation. Unapproved flash pots were ignited inside an overcrowded club plastered with improvised flammable foam soundproofing in an old building not up to code (ie. no sprinkler system). Tragic, yes. Relevant, no. And you can just say, "smoke." "Inhalation" is a verb, not a noun.

puddleglum 4 years, 11 months ago

yeah, smoke inhalation means exactly that.

although inhalation is a verb- smoke inhalation is a type of injury.

had I meant it as a verb, I would have said "people smoking K2" or "lets inhale some toxic gas!"

had I just mentioned the word 'smoke', the human element would be ambiguous, as in - smoke would be everywhere...
chirp chirp.

and as for Alex...... did you just try to use the word 'whining'?

TheOriginalCA 4 years, 11 months ago

If Nancy Longhurst manages this hotel no better than she managed the Eldridge, Connecting Point (her downtown Lawrence business), and The River Front Mall (Managed and deliberately failed by her husband Dave) The Oread Hotel is bound to fail.

Proper handling of items such as oily rags is such a basic practice and they have failed at that too. The Longhursts have long been staple in the Lawrence Business community and the special interest and influence pedaling.

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 11 months ago

Were the rags full of a powder blue oil-based paint?

RKLOG 4 years, 11 months ago

Oily rags? What is this the 19th century? Did a couple of bowler-hat wearing, stripped shirted, cigar chomping rascals forget to clean up after their slippery pie fight? What's next, is Harpo going to amuse us with his rendition of "If a Nightingale Could Sing Like You"??

This type of news should be reported downtown with a filthy, hat-wearing child holding a stack of LJWorlds yelling "EXTRA EXTRA!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!! HOTEL FUMING OVER OILY-RAG MAYHEM!!"?

George_Braziller 4 years, 11 months ago

auntie - I was thinking the same thing about "washed" kitchen rags. They can't spontaneously combust. I've washed old towels that had been saturated with mineral spirits and/or petroleum based floor wax. Once they came out of the dryer they didn't even have a smell.

I had completely forgotten about Sarge!

"The old grizzly bear Sargent that lived in the big two story white house on Indiana just around the corner from the Norwegian wood hippie store."

jackpot 4 years, 11 months ago

Maybe it's just me but the first line is oily rags. The second line is just washed rags. Not saying much for the washers if they are still oily after washing.

fuel_for_the_fire 4 years, 11 months ago

Excuse me, bmaestas I don't mean to pee in your Wheaties® but inhale is a verb; inhalation is a noun.

Linda Aikins 4 years, 11 months ago

LarryNative, I was quoted a rate of $108 for their basic room.

acg 4 years, 11 months ago

My husband works there and the rooms are quite nice. I've worked at three different hotels during grand opening in my life and grand opening week is always a nightmare. There are glitches, galore. Oily kitchen rags are easy to explain, too. Ever had to wipe down a grill at the end of shift? There are just some of you that hate any sort of change. They could've built a free pie factory at that spot and there would be reasons for some of you to complain. I just don't think a lot of you are happy unless you're b*tchin' and what a waste of life and time.

Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 11 months ago

puddleglum (anonymous) says...

and as for Alex...... did you just try to use the word 'whining'?


yea I wrote my post backwards if you spell right to left you will see what it says

redwombat 4 years, 11 months ago

LarryNative: you're wrong. A regular king room on the weekday is $99, for the weekend it is $119. A queen double is $124 on weekday and $144 on weekend. Yes, the premiere king honeymoon suites, of which the hotel only has 2, are $189 on the weekday and $229 on the weekend. You are misrepresenting saying that the rooms are $199. It is just simply not true.

CharlesinCharge 4 years, 11 months ago

Greasy towels and rags are the number one cause of restaurant fires. Often if the restaurant washes them in-house, all the grease is not removed and they catch on fire in the dryer. Apparently these rags spontaneously combusted, but I bet they were in the dryer shortly before they started smoking.

viagra_sailor 4 years, 11 months ago

I always cover all my hot, steamy, oily rags with sopping wet rags to reduce the chance of spontaneous combustion. Amateurs...

George_Braziller 4 years, 11 months ago

So what's up with the tacky red and blue pulsing lights coming out of the top of Oread Inn right now? It looks like the combination of red lights on the top of a grain elevator, something from the Las Vegas strip, and a scene from Ghostbusters.

alum92 4 years, 11 months ago

Standard cooking oils in commercial kitchens have a smoke point of over 450 degrees. Hello, left alone towels from cleaning a kitchen are not a fire hazard, think about it, every McDonalds in the world would have reported a fire if standard kitchen grease on towels was to blame. (acg-Props to your hubby but, I have cleaned flat tops,daily!, for over 20 years and know better than to belive your statment.) "Oily rags" and kitchen grease are vastly different. A brand new kitchen does not create enough cooking oil to be a hazard.

alum92 4 years, 11 months ago

george- the "ghostbuster's" building in KC is a beautiful building, the Oread will never match up.

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