Dinner was in the oven cooking, but what remains is a charred clump of roast, chicken or other meat — and a penetrating, rancid odor. It is called a protein fire, and professional restorers recognize it as a special category of damage.
Unlike the typical kitchen fire, protein "fires" produce little visible smoke residue. The low level of heat reduces the animal fat and protein to a fine mist, leaving a clear, almost invisible film. That can be a problem, because the casual observer sees no black residue and mistakenly assumes the condition to be minor. In fact, the obnoxious odor, combined with the absence of visible smoke, makes protein fires one of the most frustrating types of damage...
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