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Fireground Size-Up: High-Rise Buildings Under Construction

BY MICHAEL A. TERPAKFires in high-rise buildings under construction present numerous and unique challenges to the fire service. Responding firefighters must be prepared to deal with a number of concerns that will extend well beyond what firefighters are normally used to in a completed or occupied building. The presence of large amounts of combustibles, limited accessibility, the lack of a water supply, poor housekeeping, and unlimited exposure to the wind make these partially constructed buildings vulnerable to rapid fire spread and structural collapse. These factors, combined with the potential for injury to firefighting forces, rival the operations needed in vacant/abandoned structures....

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