Skyscraper fire

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A skyscraper fire or high-rise fire is a class of structural fire specific to tall buildings. Skyscraper fires are one of the most technical fire suppression challenges posed to modern fire departments, and require a high degree of organization and cooperation among participating units to be successfully contained and extinguished. Skyscraper fires are often multiple-alarm fires.

Typical American fire department response pattern[edit]

In the event of a skyscraper fire, the first action that needs to be taken is the activation of the fire alarm system and subsequent evacuation of the building's occupants. The fire department, after responding, will then divide into various teams to accomplish different tasks. For instance, one or more teams will be responsible for searching the building floor by floor (starting at the fire floor) for trapped or unevacuated occupants. Another team will be assigned to attack the fire at the fire floor. A Firefighter Assist and Search Team (FAST) will standby at the floor below the fire ready to assist in case of a mayday. A team will also be assigned to shut off the building's utilities. All these operations may be coordinated and controlled from a central command vehicle mobilized to the scene.

Various roles are required on the exterior as well. A truck or ladder company will be responsible for establishing means of egress on the outside of the building, providing horizontal ventilation by breaking windows if necessary, and possibly assisting in the suppression effort from the exterior with master streams. Various crews, or at minimum individuals, will be responsible for establishing and maintaining the various water supplies. EMTs and paramedics will be responsible for establishing care to victims of the fire and monitoring firefighters who recently exited the building. Last but not least, the officer in command of the incident may establish a team to assist him in his organizational duties.

Notable fires[edit]

Building City Country Date Death(s) Notes
Central Tower San Francisco  United States 1906-04-18 April 18, 1906 ? Burned in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
Merchants Exchange Building San Francisco 1906-04-18 April 18, 1906 ? Burned in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
Old Chronicle Building San Francisco 1906-04-18 April 18, 1906 ? Burned in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
Mutual Bank Building San Francisco 1906-04-18 April 18, 1906 ? Burned in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
Asch Building New York City 1911-03-25 March 25, 1911 146 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire
The Sherry-Netherland New York City 1927-04-12 April 12, 1927 0 Occurred during construction
Empire State Building New York City 1945-07-28 July 28, 1945 14 Plane crash
40 Wall Street New York City 1946-05-20 May 20, 1946 5 Plane crash
Winecoff Hotel Atlanta 1946-12-07 December 7, 1946 119 Deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history
1 New York Plaza New York City 1970-08-05 August 5, 1970 2
Taeyongak Hotel Seoul  South Korea 1971-12-25 December 25, 1971 163 Daeyeonggak Hotel fire, deadliest hotel fire in history
Andraus Building São Paulo  Brazil 1972-02-24 February 24, 1972 16
Rault Tower New Orleans  United States 1972-11-29 November 29, 1972 6
Joelma Building São Paulo  Brazil 1974-02-01 February 1, 1974 179–189 Joelma fire
One World Trade Center New York City  United States 1975-02-13 February 13, 1975 0
Campbell Shopping Complex Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia 1976-04-08 April 8, 1976 1 Campbell Shopping Complex fire
Bank Bumiputra Kuala Lumpur 1980-11-80 November 4, 1980
MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas  United States 1980-11-21 November 21, 1980 84 MGM Grand fire
Las Vegas Hilton Las Vegas 1981-2-10 February 10, 1981 8 Arson
Torre Santa María Santiago  Chile 1981-3-21 March 21, 1981 11 Occurred when carpet glue ignited during carpet installation.[1]
Al Rasheed Hotel Baghdad  Iraq 1982-7-21 July 21, 1982 1 Plane crash-Suicide by F-4 Phantom during Iran-Iraq War
Northwestern National Bank Minneapolis  United States 1980-11-21 November 25–26, 1982 0 Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day fire
KOMTAR Penang  Malaysia 1983-1-23 January 23, 1983 0
Dupont Plaza Hotel Condado, Puerto Rico  United States 1986-12-31 December 31, 1986 97 Dupont Plaza Hotel arson
Hotel International Zurich   Switzerland 1988-02-14 February 14, 1988 6 Deadliest high-rise fire in Swiss history
First Interstate Tower Los Angeles  United States 1988-05-04 May 4, 1988 1 First Interstate Tower fire
Peachtree 25th Building Atlanta 1989-06-30 June 30, 1989 1
One Meridian Plaza Philadelphia 1991-02-23 February 23–24, 1991 3
UNITIC Twin Towers Sarajevo  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-05-28 May 28, 1992 Burned after being repeatedly hit by Serbian incendiary tank shells.
Bosnian Parliament Building Sarajevo 1992-05-28 May 28, 1992 Burned after being repeatedly hit by Serbian incendiary tank shells.
Bijlmermeer Apartment Complex Amsterdam  Netherlands 1992-10-04 October 4, 1992 43 El Al Flight 1862 plane crash, Partial collapse
One World Trade Center New York City  United States 1993-02-26 February 26, 1993 6 Bombing which also resulted in 1,042 smoke related injuries
Stratosphere Tower Las Vegas 1993-08-30 August 30, 1993 0 Occurred during construction
White House (Moscow) Moscow  Russia 1993-10-08 October 8, 1993 unknown Caught fire from tank shelling during the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis
Tower 42 London  United Kingdom 1996-1-17 January 17, 1996 0 Occurred during refurbishment
Garley building Hong Kong  Hong Kong 1996-11-20 November 20, 1996 41 1996 Garley Building fire
Ušće Tower Belgrade  Serbia and Montenegro 1999-04-21 April 21, 1999 0 Struck by NATO air strikes during the Kosovo War setting the upper floors on fire.
Immigration Tower Hong Kong  Hong Kong 2000-08-02 August 2, 2000 2 Arson
Ostankino Tower Moscow  Russia 2000-08-27 August 27, 2000 3 Tallest structure in Europe
1 and 2 World Trade Center New York City  United States 2001-09-11 September 11, 2001 2312 Plane crashes in the September 11 attacks, causing full structural collapse.
7 World Trade Center New York City 2001-09-11 September 11, 2001 0 Full structural collapse caused by debris from the collapse of One World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks.
90 West Street New York City 2001-09-11 September 11, 2001 2 Caused by debris from the collapse of Two World Trade Center: September 11 attacks
Pirelli Tower Milan  Italy 2002-04-18 April 18, 2002 3 Plane crash
Al Rasheed Hotel Baghdad  Iraq 2003-12-26 December 26, 2003 1 twenty-eight 68 mm and 85 mm Katyusha rockets were fired at and struck the hotel
Parque Central Complex east tower Caracas  Venezuela 2004-10-17 October 17, 2004 0 Damage to 34th-44th floors
Windsor Tower Madrid  Spain 2005-02-12 February 12, 2005 0 Partially collapsed; subsequently demolished
Tohid Town Residential Tehran  Iran 2005-12-06 December 6, 2005 106 Plane crash: 2005 Iranian Air Force C-130 crash
Transport Tower Astana  Kazakhstan 2006-05-30 May 30, 2006 0 Fire destroyed upper floors of 34-storey government building
Belaire Apartments New York City  United States 2006-10-11 October 11, 2006 2 Plane crash
Fortune Tower Dubai  United Arab Emirates 2007-01-18 January 18, 2007 4 Occurred during construction, 57 injured
Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai  China 2007-08-14 August 14, 2007 0 Occurred on 40th floor during construction
Deutsche Bank Building New York City  United States 2007-08-18 August 18, 2007 2 Occurred during dismantling, demolished due to damage from the September 11 attacks
Monte Carlo Resort and Casino Las Vegas 2008-01-25 January 25, 2008 0 Fire affecting top six floors
Abraj Al Bait Towers Mecca  Saudi Arabia 2008-10-28 October 28, 2008 0 Occurred during construction; fire consumed nine floors
Beijing Television Cultural Center Beijing  China 2009-02-09 February 9, 2009 1 Beijing Television Cultural Center fire
Bashundhara City Tower Dhaka  Bangladesh 2009-03-13 March 13, 2009 4
Abraj Al Bait Towers Mecca  Saudi Arabia 2009-05-01 May 1, 2009 0 Occurred during construction
al buteena fire Sharjah  United Arab Emirates 2009-05-01 June 6, 2010 0 [2]
Unnamed high-rise apartment block Shanghai  China 2010-11-15 November 15, 2010 58 Occurred during renovation; 2010 Shanghai fire
Dynasty Wanxin building complex Towers A and B (Tower C was unaffected) Shenyang 2011-02-03 February 3, 2011 0 Started from fireworks during Chinese New Year Celebrations.[3]
Unnamed Highrise Hanoi  Vietnam 2011-12-16 December 15, 2011 0 Fire occurred during construction, 11 workers injured.[4]
Uncompleted high rise block Kuala Lumpur  Malaysia 2012-01-18 January 18, 2012 0 [5]
Fico Place Bangkok  Thailand 2012-03-03 March 3, 2012 0 2 firemen injured[6]
Federation Tower (East Tower) Moscow  Russia 2012-04-2 April 2, 2012 0 Occurred while the building was under construction
Al Tayer Tower Sharjah  United Arab Emirates 2012-04-28 April 28, 2012 0 [7]
Polat Tower Residence Istanbul  Turkey 2012-07-17 July 17, 2012 0 [8]
Tamweel Tower Dubai  United Arab Emirates 2012-11-18 November 18, 2012 0 [9]
Oko Tower 1 Moscow  Russia 2013-01-25 January 25, 2013 0 Fire occurred on 24th floor during construction, one worker was injured.[10]
Torre Ejecutiva Pemex Tower Mexico City  Mexico 2013-01-31 January 31, 2013 33 Gas explosion affecting the main building's 14 story annex Torre Ejecutiva Pemex explosion
Grozny-City Towers Grozny  Russia 2013-04-03 April 3, 2013 0 [11]
Jianye Mansion Guangzhou  China 2013-04-03 December 15, 2013 0 [12]
The Strand New York City  United States 2014-01-05 January 5, 2014 1 [13]
Lotus Park building Mumbai  India 2014-07-18 July 18, 2014 1 [14]
Wedgwood Apartments Castle Hills, Texas  United States 2014-12-28 December 28, 2014 5 [15]
The Marina Torch Dubai  United Arab Emirates 2015-02-21 February 21, 2015 0 At least 7 people were injured.
One57 New York City  United States 2015-03-15 March 15, 2015 0 Fire broke out in the loading dock, then spread to the courtyard and a neighboring property.
Wisma Kosgoro Jakarta  Indonesia 2015-03-10 March 10, 2015 0 Fire destroyed floor 16-20.[16]
Unnamed Highrise Baku  Azerbaijan 2015-05-19 May 19, 2015 16 See 2015 Baku residence building fire
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Las Vegas  United States 2015-07-25 July 25, 2015 0 Fire occurred on the pool deck fueled by cabanas and artificial trees, two people were treated for smoke inhalation.[17]
Unnamed Residential Tower Sharjah  United Arab Emirates 2015-10-01 October 1, 2015 0 Fire burned building facade, 19 treated for smoke inhalation.[18]
John Hancock Center Chicago  United States 2015-11-21 November 21, 2015 0 A two-alarm fire broke out on the 50th floor. Five injured.[19]
The Address Downtown Dubai Dubai  United Arab Emirates 2015-12-31 December 31, 2015 1 Occurred on New Year's Eve, 14 injured.[20]
National Museum of Natural History New Delhi  India 2016-04-26 April 26, 2016 0 A fire broke out on the sixth floor, and destroyed the entire museum and all of its artifacts. Six people suffered minor injuries due to smoke inhalation.[21]
Plasco Building Tehran  Iran 2017-01-19 January 19, 2017 21 The 17-story building collapsed after a fire started on the ninth floor. Seventy injured.[22]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "30 años del incendio de la Torre Santa María: testigos recuerdan la tragedia | Santiago | La Tercera Edición Impresa". Diario.latercera.com. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  2. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  3. ^ "Fireworks blaze destroys 5-star hotel in China - World news - Asia-Pacific - China". NBC News. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  4. ^ "Skyscraper on fire, 11 injured in Vietnam capital | Society | Thanh Nien Daily". Thanhniennews.com. 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Retrieved January 19, 2012. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Fico blaze prompts Bangkok City Hall sprinkler initiative | Bangkok". Bangkok.coconuts.co. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Large fire sweeps through Istanbul 42-storey building - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  9. ^ "JLT's Tamweel Tower fire: Residents recount waking up to nightmare - Emirates 24|7". Emirates247.com. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  10. ^ Reuters Editorial (2013-01-25). "Blaze hits showcase skyscraper in Moscow". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  11. ^ "Luxury skyscraper hotel destroyed in massive blaze in Chechnya (VIDEO, PHOTOS) — RT News". Rt.com. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "Fire in Luxury High-Rise Kills One and Displaces Dozens in Hell's Kitchen". The New York Times. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "Mumbai fire: Fireman killed in Mumbai high rise blaze | Latest News & Gossip on Popular Trends at India.com". Us.india.com. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  15. ^ "Five killed in blaze at senior apartments in San Antonio". CBS News. 2014-12-28. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  16. ^ The Jakarta Post (2015-03-10). "Wisma Kosgoro fire subdued, short circuiting possible cause". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  17. ^ "Pool Fire at Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas Fueled by Cabanas, Artificial Plants, Fire Dept. Says - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. 2015-07-25. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  18. ^ "5 Injured in 2-Alarm Fire at John Hancock Building". NBC Chicago. 2015-11-22. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  19. ^ Fay Abuelgasim (2015-10-01). "High-rise tower catches fire in Emirati city of Sharjah". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  20. ^ "Fire engulfs Dubai hotel ahead of New Year celebrations - BBC News". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2016-04-28. 
  21. ^ "Fire destroys Delhi's National Museum of Natural History". The Indian Express. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Tehran fire: Twenty firemen killed as high-rise collapses". BBC. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 

External links[edit]