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Theme Park Review Valencia Clubhouse Fire!!!


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UPDATE! - Fed. 26th - Clubhouse Demolition Photos Below!

 

For all of you who have been to a TPR Party in the last three years, you've been to our Promendate at Town Center Apartment Complex's clubhouse facility. Well tonight, the clubhouse went up in flames!

 

The scariest part was that Robb was in the gym working out when it started!!! He's fine and got out, and was able to get some really amazing pictures. I posted live on my Facebook as this was happening and will copy everything below so you can see how it unfolded. Fortunately for us our apartment building is about 1/4 mile away so other than smelling a lot of smoke, TPR HQ was totally unaffected.

 

ROBB EDIT! I figure I'll add my story since I was the last person out of a building on fire!!!

 

So when I went into the gym (for any of you who have attended one of our parties you'll know what I'm talking about) I walked past the clubhouse section of the building (the gym and clubhouse are all under the same roof) to see a pretty decent sized party going on in there. The place was packed with people, the lights were off, the music was blaring, alcohol was on the counter on the kitchen and it looked like they had the fire place going.

 

The whole room was already kind of smokey, but honestly, there are parties in there all the time with fog machines, DJ's, the fireplace going, etc, so I didn't think anything of it. It looked and smelled pretty much like it always does.

 

I go into the gym and I'm on one of the elliptical machines closest to the outside window and my back to where I could see the clubhouse room. I had my iPod blaring Coaster Expedition Volume 8 so I couldn't hear or really see anything. Until some woman (thank you BTW) is BANGING on the window! "The building is on fire!" "WTF!!!" I turn around and sure enough I see the smoke starting to come into the clubhouse.

 

No alarms or ANYTHING went off. I would have seen the strobes from the alarms that are in the gym and none of the sprinklers went off either. The first picture below was taken about 30 seconds after I stepped out of the building! Now it looks like most of the smoke (I'm going to guess it was a chimney fire) looks like it's coming from well above where the gym is which is also probably why I didn't smell it too much, it was all rising up.

 

But still, I was the last person out of a building on fire!!! Scary! Anyway, I stood and watched my gym building burn down (sad because I've been going every day, sometimes twice a day for the past 5 months now) and luckily the gym seemed to suffer the least. I can't wait to see what the building looks like tomorrow!

 

I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens about re-building the clubhouse for any future TPR parties! But I have to assume they will need to re-build it pretty quickly since a lot of the apartment renters are depending on it!

 

That's my story. Here are the pictures...

 

Dude our clubhouse is on fire!!! This is insane!!! This picture was taken about 30 seconds after Robb stepped out of the building! He was literally in a building on fire and none of the alarms worked! Because the gym is sealed off from the rest of the building, and there wasn't really any smoke in the gym room (it was all rising up), Robb had no idea what was going on until some woman banged on the gym window! (the main window you can see in this picture.)

 

Robb was working out and smelled smoke. Then this!! So scary and insane!!!

 

Here you can see the firefighters on the roof!

 

It's getting worse!! How the hell did this happen!?!? I mean I could almost understand this happening when Robb makes his wings but seriously. Yikes!!!

 

More flames. I'm glad we're several buildings away from this!

 

They just pulled the firefighters off the roof and yelled at everyone to get back cause they think it will collapse.

 

Seven fire trucks and fire still going. A bit unsettling.

 

It's like a scene from a movie! Hopefully LA will now fall into oblivion.

 

45 minutes later finally some progress.

 

Never mind. Roof just went up again!!! What the hell?!?!

 

Front part of the roof just caved in. Still lots of fire. Amazing. Can't believe we're watching this happen.

 

Dying down...again...hopefully this is it now.

 

Bringing in some lights to see better.

 

Another angle.

 

It's like the high powered hoses at Happy Valley!!

 

Part of the pool complex was also burned.

 

This was like a scene direct from HHN complete with a chain saw guy!!!

 

It smells like Rome from Spaceship Earth everywhere.

 

This is pretty much the most exciting thing to ever happen in Valencia!!!

 

Luckily the gym was the least damaged!

 

 

Seriously though, this is a bit scary. While no one was hurt, there were no fire alarms or sprinklers that went off (the building IS equipment with them too!). Luckily someone came and knocked on the gym room glass and yelled at Robb to get out. The first picture posted was taken as soon as Robb got out of the building. How is it acceptable that there was no alarm or anything to warn Robb to get out of the building!?!? (FYI - Robb didn't think anything of the smell of smoke because the people using the club house tonight had the fireplace going, and it smelled just like it normally did whenever someone was using the fireplace.)

 

For those of you who don't know, the clubhouse building is made up of one large room, two gym rooms, a small kitchen, restrooms, and a 24 seat theater.

 

If you've ever seen the pictures from our TPR Christmas Party, DVD Release Party, or the West Coast Bash Pre-Parties, this is usually where they were held. At least next time we have a TPR party in here it will be a brand spanking new building!

 

EDIT! Here are some photos we took this morning -

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We couldn't get that close to the building, and while it's still standing it pretty much looks like just a "shell" now. From what I can tell pretty much everything in the club house was totally destroyed!

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Even the fire fighters were taking pictures! I talked to one of the fire chiefs there to offer any witness help I could and they told me they think it was a chimney fire. This would make sense since every time I go to the gym and someone in the clubhouse has the fireplace going, it's always a little smokey in there. Perhaps that could have been warning signs leading up to this? I have no idea. But still, it was very odd that no automatic alarms were triggered last night due to this. I still want to thank that woman who banged on the gym window last night! No telling how long I could have gone before knowing about the fire since the gym is completely sealed off from the rest of the building.

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It's hard to tell from the outside how badly the inside of the building was torched but if you look at this picture, you never used to be able to look in through there, and what is left...isn't much.

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There used to be roof there.

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Broken windows.

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That roof used to extend over the burned part.

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More of the mess.

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This is the back side of the building (from the pool area) and if the entire roof was that badly damaged to cave in just imagine the damage to the club house!

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Fortunately for my weight loss initiative the gym looks fairly in tact. I'm told they will set up a temporary gym somewhere else on property for the renters.

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This is the wall where the kitchen is on the other side (Where I would make my wings during the TPR parties), it's the wall on the other side of the room from the fireplace so it didn't seem to suffer as much damage. In fact, I think I can still see the shuffleboard table in there! Hopefully they'll get everything re-built soon, but I would have to imagine that with the damage to the rest of the location, they'd have to tear the building down and start from scratch.

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Wow, they did not waste any time taking the building down!

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From these pictures it *looks* like they are only demolishing the area on the other side of the gym/kitchen/theater wall, so maybe those areas will still remain.

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I'll take more pictures later to see what's left of the building!

Edited by robbalvey
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I honestly can't believe this...Its like a piece of me died.

Oh, I wouldn't worry too much. I mean, they'll re-build the thing....they pretty much HAVE to as it's part of the apartment complex amenities. Now they are probably forced to put in DECENT equipment in the theater instead of that dying crap that they seemingly refused to replace for the last 3 years.

 

I mean, even about 5 of the gym machines all had issues. I don't think they've paid attention to anything or upgraded any of the equipment in that clubhouse or the gym in years.

 

--Robb

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Oh wow, I am going to miss this place because it was all kinds of awesome. I nominate the nearby Claim Jumpers to be the substitute Clubhouse for the meantime.

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Brandon, where were you when they needed you??? =)

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Are you sure Robb was not cooking wings tonight?

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^ It wouldn't have made the TV news because it's all LA based, but it might be in the paper tomorrow.

 

I've edited the first post and posted my story about the whole thing above, too...

 

Wow, glad you guys are ok! Reminds me of when I spent the night watching a warehouse near one of my friends houses burn to the ground, you feel kind of excited even though you really shouldn't!

Exactly. I mean, no one got hurt and other than it's a bummer to lose the building, and one that we actually would rent out for TPR functions, it was very "interesting" to watch the whole operation tonight.

 

As far as future TPR funtions goes, they will either re-build it or there are other locations we can hold parties at, so don't worry! They also own the apartment complex across the street from us and I think we may have access to their clubhouse as well.

 

--Robb

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Seriously though, this is a bit scary. While no one was hurt, there were no fire alarms or sprinklers.

 

Is that legal in a public building in the USA? It certainly wouldn't be here...

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Glad your ok Robb, but does seem strange about the fire system not working. Not sure how they work over there, but all the fire systems here have an seperate power supply and most of the sprinkler heads have some sort of mercury switch ( guessing) in front of the head to allow them to work once the heat builds up enough to trigger.

 

For these not to work, then there must be no power to the pumps before the fire started, but that still does not explain the alarm part of the system not working.

 

However, just glad that Elissa and Kidtums have Robb still in one piece....now Robb, go buy a LOTTO ticket!!

 

EDIT: Just a thought. You guys mentioned that there seems to be a lot of smoke from parties and the like and it is a normal thing. I wonder if someone was able to turn the fire system off to stop the alarms from going off during these parties.....like I said, just a thought.

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The way sprinklers typically work is completely mechanical - they contain a valve which, when heated, bursts open releasing the flow of water through a system which is already pressurized. No power is generally needed beyond a pump to drive the system, and even that is not a prerequisite if your water pressure is high enough to begin with.

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^^ That wouldn't surprise me at all. I live in student apartments and for insurance reasons (because students are much more likely to burn the place down than most) all the fire alarms are set super sensitive, you cant even use hair straighteners in your room without getting the fire brigade called out. Anyway, people are always putting socks or cling film over them (sometimes the stupidity of the human race astounds me)

 

^ will the sprinklers go off if the alarms don't?

 

If/when it gets rebuilt, I bet you will not be able to cough in there without setting anything off

Edited by freekeee
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EDIT: Just a thought. You guys mentioned that there seems to be a lot of smoke from parties and the like and it is a normal thing. I wonder if someone was able to turn the fire system off to stop the alarms from going off during these parties.....like I said, just a thought.

Not actually smoke, but fog machines. Like the kind that DJ's use. They don't set off smoke alarms.

 

--Robb

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^ will the sprinklers go off if the alarms don't?

 

Generally speaking yes, they're completely independent. Each sprinkler has its own heat-release valve. This is particularly important in a large building, as a fire could be isolated to one small area, and as such you could do far more damage by spraying water around the whole building rather than just in the room where the fire is.

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Yeah, it's really weird to me that nothing went off. The sprinklers definitely should have gone off, unless the fire occurred above them somehow and failed to heat them sufficiently to release the valve. And no fire alarm is definitely suspicious. The building has them; they should have worked. Someone's looking at a potential lawsuit here, because that's absolutely unacceptable that nothing went off. Get the right lawyer in here and yeah... money can easily be dispensed.

 

But all of that said, I'm glad nobody was injured--partiers, firefighters, or Robb. Those are amazing photos. Thanks for posting. Just a reminder at how fragile things can be.

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OMG! When I was driving home from work, Robb, I saw your apt complex's entrance was blocked off by police. I didn't really smell anything from the road, but I wasn't looking for a clubhouse that had burned! Yikes! Good to know you're safe.

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