First Interstate Tower fire
The First Interstate Tower, with several floors burning.
|Date||May 4, 1988|
|Venue||First Interstate Tower|
|Location||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Cause||Overloaded electrical system|
The First Interstate Tower fire was a high-rise fire that occurred on May 4, 1988, at the First Interstate Tower (now Aon Center) in Los Angeles, California. The fire destroyed five floors of the building, injured 40 people, and caused the death of a maintenance worker, when the elevator the worker was riding opened onto the burning 12th floor.
Causes and results
The fire was so severe because the building was not equipped with a sprinkler system, which was not required for office towers at the time construction was completed in 1973. A sprinkler system was 90% installed at the time of the fire, but the system was inoperative, awaiting the installation of water flow alarms. The fire was eventually contained at 2:19 AM, and caused $50 million in damages.
According to the FEMA fire incident report on the subject, unusually good application of fireproofing on support members was a significant mitigating factor. The efficacy of the fireproofing was documented both by FEMA and IFC. Fireproofing of structural steel in the US is tested to ASTM E119 Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials.
Repair work took four months. Because of the fire, Los Angeles building codes were changed, requiring all high-rises to be equipped with fire sprinklers. This modified a 1974 ordinance that only required new buildings to contain fire sprinkler systems, grandfathering older buildings.
- One Meridian Plaza
- Joelma Fire - a 1974 fire which burned through a 25-story building in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Andraus Fire - a 1972 fire which burned through a 32-story building in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- 2010 Shanghai fire – destroyed a 28-storey high-rise
- Lakanal House fire – a 2009 fire in a tower block in Camberwell, South London
- 2017 Plasco Building fire and collapse – in Tehran, Iran
- Grenfell Tower fire - a 14 June 2017 destruction of a London 24-storey high-rise which had no sprinkler system
- "Technical Report, Interstate Bank Building Fire". United States Fire Administration. Archived from the original on 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- Becklund, Laurie (1988-08-27). "Open Fire Door Blamed in First Interstate Death". The L.A. Times. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
- Glasband, Eric (November 1994). ""Lifting" the Grounding Enigma". MIX Magazine. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
- Jones, Charisse (1990-10-25). "Adding Film to the Fire : Re-Enacted for TV, First Interstate Blaze Is Relived by Survivors". The L.A. Times. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
- Tucker, Ken (1991-02-15). "Review: Fire! Trapped on the 37th Floor". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
- Gregerson, John (1989-02-01). "How L.A.'s worst high-rise fire spread. (First Interstate Tower)". Building Design & Construction. Archived from the original on 2012-11-04. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Emerson, Cole H. (1989-06-01). "Putting out the fire. (disaster contingency plan for high-rise fire at First Interstate Bank of California, Los Angeles)". Security Management. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Stremfel, Michael (1990-10-29). "Exorbitant cost of sprinklers puts almost 200 in violation of fire law. (Los Angeles; high rise office buildings; fire safety laws)". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved 13 July 2010.[dead link]
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