Project Name: Robert J. Dole United States Courthouse Restoration

Project Industry: Government, Fire Restoration

Client: Servpro of Olathe & Lenexa

Size: 40,000 Sq Ft

Media Used: Baking Soda & Hand Scraping

Location: Kansas City, Kansas



Fires cause serious damage to thousands of businesses every year. When your business is affected, the hours, days, and weeks following the fire can seem overwhelming to say the least. Even after the fire trucks have left, there is still much work to be done. Your business has likely suffered from residue buildup and smoke damage that can continue to cause more problems if not taken care of. This is why it’s always important to call in the professionals and begin fire restoration services immediately. Fortunately, Blast It Clean specializes in fire restoration and the resources needed to tackle the job. Our crew will carefully inspect to determine the extent of the fire, smoke, and soot damage. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, soda blasting restoration, and cleaning, it is made possible for crews to start working almost immediately after a fire.

It all starts with a phone call. When the Robert J. Dole United States Courthouse had a fire break out, the client called in the professionals. Blast It Clean responded quickly to an electrical fire that occurred in one of Kansas City’s most monumental buildings, home to an exhibit of immigrants in Kansas and where thousands of new Americans have completed their naturalization. Robert J. Dole Courthouse is a granite-clad, six-story steel building named after retired US senator Robert J. Dole. The building is home to U.S. District Courts as well as the office of the Department of Defense Inspector General. Robert J. Dole Courthouse was completed in 1994 and is located on a 4.76-sloped site in the Central Business District of Kansas City, Kansas. 

The fire occurred in the soffit area, the upper level of the building, and the structure of the attic crawl space. The impact of the fire covered well over 40,000 square feet of area. The aftermath was soot and char residue buildup that lay within the walls of the building.  

Because of the extent of the project, Blast It Clean brought in an extra crew for an ongoing 2-month project and worked around the clock to complete the prep, blasting, and cleanup. We were trusted to complete the job quickly and efficiently and to seal the concrete to prevent any further containments and smoke damage.

Unfortunately, as many businesses have experienced, shortages did prolong the process to some extent. Because this was such a big project that required a lot of extra material, Blast It Clean couldn’t get all that they needed promptly. Fortunately, our crew was able to work with other vendors nationwide to pull enough scaffolding together to facilitate the process. Once the ‘prep’ work was completed, we were able to begin the removal process.


The crew began by building scaffolding. Scaffolding is a term that refers to the idea of creating another level or ‘area’ for workers to stand on or utilize when blasting. What would normally take five weeks to build, was done in three. Scaffolding allows easier access to the areas that need to be demoed. Scaffolding included tunnels with full protection for the crew to have safe access to the building. Full safety guard rails were also built around the parameter and stairways and access points, giving access to all areas in the soffits. Containment was built around the area of focus to minimize debris from cross-contaminating the building and surroundings and to prevent baking soda from penetrating the inside of the building. 

Once the scaffolding was complete and the panels and insulation were removed from the ceiling, the crew had to hand scrape all the char that was found underneath. The next step was to start blasting. Baking soda blasting was used to remove any additional leftover insulation and odor. Soda blasting is often the number one blasting technique used for fire restoration projects because it serves as a deodorant and is a safe and environmentally friendly method of cleaning. It uses sodium bicarbonate, better known as baking soda. Unlike your standard kitchen baking soda, when this abrasive is applied with pressure from our soda blaster, it leaves behind a clean surface and a fine powder.

After blasting, the client’s goal was to ensure that there were no additional contaminants. Encapsulation was the result. The remainder of the surface was char sealed, eliminating odor by applying an order blocker/ steel oxidation prevention. Complete final cleanup was done to turn the facility back over to the onsite client.

crew member near ceiling working on fire restoration process
fire restoration in process at courthouse site

It’s no surprise that smoke and fire damage can be damaging. Even in this day and age, with advances in fire-resistant building material and fire-suppression techniques, the sobering statistics of fire loss are still staggering. Professionals in the fire restoration industry offer an important service to their customers. When a fire occurs, they work to assist business owners to move forward and put their businesses back together. Yes, the restoration process can be time consuming but the result is worth the effort.

Blast It Clean was able to complete the project at Robert J Dole Courthouse and develop a strong relationship with the client through timely communication and quality clean-up. Today, Robert J Dole Courthouse continues to serve individuals to become naturalized U.S. Citizens.

Here at Blast It Clean, our crew understands how staggering fire damage can be. But we also know that you can fully rely on our trustworthy, immediate commercial fire damage restoration services to help you reopen your business to your customers and have your business running again.

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