First Interstate Tower fire
|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, a 62-story, 860 foot (260 m) skyscraper, then the tallest building in the city. The fire destroyed five floors of the building, injured 40 people, and caused the death of a maintenance worker, when the elevator he was riding opened onto the burning 12th floor.
Causes and results
This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2020)
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. Although a sprinkler system was 90% installed at the time of the fire, 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, unusually good application of fireproofing on support members was a significant mitigating factor. The fireproofing used to protected the steel was Monokote supplied by GCP Applied Technologies (formerly W. R. Grace).
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.
- One Meridian Plaza - a 38-story building destroyed by fire while a sprinkler system was being installed
- Andraus Fire - a 1972 fire which burned through a 32-story building in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Joelma Fire - a 1974 fire which burned through a 25-story building in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- 2010 Shanghai fire – destroyed a 28-story 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-story high-rise which had no sprinkler system
- PEPCON Disaster - a unrelated series of explosions, the largest is 1KT TNT equivalent, that happened in Henderson, Nevada at the same day.
- "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]