Case Study: Electrical Fire at a Pet Boarding Facility – Southern United States


August 19, 2019 – September 27, 2019

A high-end pet boarding facility in the Southern United States suffered an electrical fire early in the fall of 2019. The fire started with a malfunction in a branch circuit, and flames rolled up the backside of building. On and off-duty firefighters, police, and veterinarians rescued 75 cats and dogs from the fire. The fire directly damaged the rear portion of one building, and inflamed building materials caused substantial smoke and soot damage throughout the building complex. 

Responsiv Disaster Recovery was called in to remediate the damage. After a fire, a heavy smoke smell will stay in the building until everything is wiped down and cleaned. Even if you can’t see the soot, you will be able to smell it once the sun hits the surface. A thorough, multi-part process was in order. 


  1. The process starts with identifying the areas contaminated with smoke and soot.
  2. Once identified, affected areas were gutted down to the steel and wood framing. We removed the sheet rock from stud walls, took down the acoustic ceilings, and removed all building insulation in order to thoroughly remediate the damage.  
  3. We then started the wipe down process in which all metal surfaces are treated with a degreaser and cleaned. 
  4. Unlike a residential house, we dealt with both metal and wood for this project. Wood areas were sprayed with degreaser, wiped down, and encapsulated with a white shellac pigment paint to seal the wood. 
  5. Negative air machines with HEPA filters were online throughout the project to clean and dehumidify the air. 


  • Agreeing upon scope of work with the insurance company and the building consultants which are employed by them is always a challenge. Our job to justify the scope of work, and discuss what is most cost efficient. Estimates are created and written in Xactimate, using open book pricing.
  • Some contents didn’t want to come clean after several attempts. We had to replace items that were too damaged to repair. 
  • This building had plywood on the walls along with sheetrock, which we didn’t know about until the sheetrock was removed. 

Next steps

The pet boarding facility opened for grooming and day camp on September 3, and opened in full on September 23. It is planning to rebuild the kennel with safety standards beyond what is required after they reopen, including a new fire sprinkler system.

What we accomplished

Responsiv Disaster Recovery is proud to have the pet boarding facility back to business quickly. This was especially important considering people’s pets were involved, and the job was very high profile. For two weeks after the facility caught fire, news anchors were on the scene, covering the story and monitoring the situation.


More Posts