On what started as a pleasant late spring morning in the Highlands, a householder was startled by sudden flames from their range cooker in the kitchen. Unfortunately, the fire shutoff valve along the oil feed pipe was faulty and did not activate as intended, resulting in a continued flow of kerosene into a range cooker that was already on fire – a very dangerous situation indeed! Thankfully the local fire department was able to attend the site promptly and successfully extinguish the fire. However, the kerosene impact to the surrounding building structures and soils beneath the kitchen was significant. Floorboards, blockwork, the entire base structure within the subfloor void… all drenched in oil.


To ensure the effective remediation of the contamination within the property, a thorough site assessment was carried out by our scientist in order to identify the full extent of the kerosene contamination impact. Once we had this information, we formulated our plan to effectively solve the problem and return the property safely to its owner. The RSK Raw civils team removed the kerosene-impacted soils / building structures and carried out reinstatement works with clean materials. A bespoke heavy-duty base was also constructed to support the soon-to-be-replaced range cooker, which weighed in at a whopping 300kgs!! Air sampling and field screening on site, followed by laboratory testing of validation samples, allowed us to hand the house back over to the relieved homeowner. Another job well done!


One more thing – the OFTEC-registered engineer who attended the incident identified that the range cooker had been incorrectly installed and the fire shutoff valve should not have been within the subfloor void. A reminder to us all to always arrange for regular inspections of your heating equipment by qualified personnel to keep things safe and sound and avoid nasty surprises!