There was a laundromat that caught fire around 3am here last night, in a Borough of NYC.
I happen to know the store. It's not a 24/7 store, so I'm thinking spontaneous combustion. It was a drop-off only store and they had bags of old laundry all over the place.
I would pass this place and not understand how they were not shut down by Consumer's affairs. It was very neglected and in need of a complete gutting, imo. Even their sign was hanging down just begging to fall off.
At least 17 people were hurt, mostly Firefighters trying to save people who lived in apartments above the Mat.
Personally, I think it's nuts to build a mat with apartments over it.
Sooner or later the mat gets neglected (or even if it doesn't) and it will burn.
I imagine most landlords will not allow a laundromat in their apartment building anyhow for this reason, and even if they did, the liability insurance must be through the roof (no pun intended), if you can get it insured at all.....especially after a fire like this one.
Interesting facts about this store that you've listed here. From the Google photo I posted in another thread http://www.planetlaundry.com/forum/s...5568#post75568, I was guessing that dryer fire was the cause. Funny that the laundromat owner who is also the landlord said in the video that he had been there 24/7 but the store was so rundown. I was also guessing that he was expecting the fire to arrive.
Do you happen to know a little bit about the history of this store? Was it once a store that offers both self-service and drop-off service and transformed into drop-off only store? Because of competition or that the owner prefer drop-off profit over self-service? Perhaps the newbie landlord took over this store from the previous owner for whatever reasons and haven't cleaned the dryer vents ever since. It looks like the sprinkler system didn't help. I would be really surprised if there were no sprinklers in the front and back of the dryers.
-I wish that all I do is to collect coins, just like the other laundromat owner down the street.
--Whoa, is that all he does? What an easy job!
-No. It is his wish, too.
This store has been a drop-off only store for many years....decades, in fact.
Most of their work is pickup and delivery. Something that most mat owners around here shun because of all the headaches involved with pickup and delivery.
There's another much more conventional Mat right across the street that does self-service.
The Mat was definitely open only during the day which originally led me to believe that it was spontaneous combustion, but I just heard from someone that they often processed the drop-offs on a 24 hr basis, even sleeping in the store!
So it's entirely possible that a dryer caught fire, especially since your eagle eye picked up that lint accumulation in the exhaust pipe.
If they had that much at the output of the pipe, one can only imagine what was built up in the dryers.
Then, all you need is one safety go bad or bypassed which some idiot Mat owners occasionally do (such as a sail switch), and presto! Instant disaster!
Like I always say...."It all comes out in the wash"....