The Andraus Building is a well-known building in the city centre of São Paulo, Brazil which is located in Republic district, on the corner of avenida São João with rua Pedro Américo. It is 115 metres tall and has 32 floors, and its construction ended in 1962. On February 24, 1972, the building suffered a great fire which caused the deaths of 16 persons trapped inside the building. 330 others were also injured. The building was renovated after the fire, and currently houses municipal and federal government offices.
A possible cause of the 1972 fire would have been an electrical system overload. The fire began on the second floor and consumed the entire building, which contained several corporate offices, among them the Henkel multinationals and Siemens. Since restoration, the building has housed public offices and is known as the "Pirani Building".
Although the building is associated most often with the fatal fire, it nevertheless has significant architectural value, being one of the best-known skyscrapers of São Paulo, of considerable prominence in the skyline with its unmistakable geometric shape.
Among the fatalities were two executives at Henkel: Paul Jürgen Pondorf, President of the company, and Ottmar Flick. The corporate offices were a total loss. Most survivors of the tragedy, unable to use the emergency stairs, chose to climb to the top floor of the building, where they remained until firefighters were able to get the fire under control. Many were later rescued via helicopter by the pilot Olendino de Souza.
As the fire was covered live on television broadcasts, the scenes of people throwing themselves from the windows shocked the world, leading to the first security discussions in buildings — something overlooked until then - and this was reinforced with an even greater tragedy, the fire at the Joelma Building, which occurred two years later in São Paulo.
- FILM: Incendio - 14 minute filmed documentary detailing the similarly deadly Joelma Building fire only 2 years later.
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