Did Desert Crete Decking Help Foil Arsonist In Monterey Firebombing?

Several years ago one of my clients had me install Desert Crete on one of his properties. (Desert Crete is the only decking system he uses, because of it’s resistance to damage and easy care for his apt communities.
In October 0f 2009, someone came onto the property and at several locations threw Molotov cocktails onto the building, in an apparent attempt to harm someone…

25 Displaced After “Suspicious” Apartment Fire in Monterey

Posted: wnRenderDate(‘Wednesday, September 30, 2009 7:38 AM EST’, ”, true); Sep 30, 2009 4:38 AM PDT Wednesday, September 30, 2009 7:38 AM EST Updated: wnRenderDate(‘Thursday, October 1, 2009 12:03 AM EST’, ”, true); Sep 30, 2009 9:03 PM PDT Thursday, October 1, 2009 12:03 AM EST

if (PLATFORM.EventMan) PLATFORM.EventMan.triggerEvent(‘WNStoryRelatedBoxdone’); MONTEREY, Calif -Early Wednesday morning the Monterey Fire Department responded to an apartment complex fire at 2000 David Avenue in Monterey.
Four apartment units were severely damaged, three cars were destroyed and 20 to 30 people have been displaced. The American Red Cross is helping the residents and a temporary shelter has been set up at Hilltop Community Center in Monterey.
The fire department says that the fire started around 3:30a.m.  It was contained in about 30 minutes but crews remained on scene hours after the fire was contained.
No injuries have been reported.
6 engines, 2 trucks, and 30 firefighters were on scene to fight the fire.
The origin of the fire is considered “suspicious” and it is under investigation by the Monterey Police and the Monterey Fire Departments.

We had put Desert Crete decking on a deck over a garage, and on the walkways on the 2nd floor.  I remember talking with the owner about the construction methods necessary to achieve Class A/One Hour fire resistant constrution, as walkways and stairs must be fire resistant constructed materials. The deck and walkways were covered in plywood and then we installed Desert Crete in the methods described in the ICC-ES report #1661.

So that’s that then right? Well my client called me up to ask about fixing up some fire damaged decks. I took a ride up to Monterey to walk the job with him. This is what I observed…

                                           Joists under walkway at 2nd floor

                                 Garage joists and plywood severely fire damaged. 

                                  This pic was taken on the deck over the garage.
                                 The fire ran up into the wall, damaging the 1st floor
                                 apt, then continued up into the 2nd floor apt.

                                    I have not seen the walkway yet. I fully expect to see
                                     damaged Desert Crete. The roof of the garage is 
                                    covered in plywood, as the fire dept chopped holes in it to
                                   fight the flames. 

                             Paint melted on the stucco wall under the walkway.
                                                  LETS SEE THE WALKWAYS!

                                This walkway is directly above the garage deck.
                             There is no sign of fire damage to the decking at all!

                                   Second area of walkway where fire below
                                 damaged joists and plywood. No fire damage evident
                                   at all. 

Did the Desert Crete decking system stop this fire before lives were lost? I can’t say and neither can anyone else. But you decide what is best for your building; a Class A and One Hour ICC-ES rated system or some crap from the cheapest bidder you can get? It’s just your liability at risk…