“Not Enough Water, So Fire Guts 1.2-Million-Square-Foot Warehouse”

Issue 8 and Volume 135.

Not Enough Water, So Fire Guts 1.2-Million-Square-Foot Warehouse features Photo by Rob Sherman, Jr. A fire in a fully sprinklered K mart warehouse with 1.2 million square feet under one roof in Bucks County, Pa:, swept through the entire structure last June 21, causing a loss of $113 million. Flame and smoke spread so rapidly that a third alarm was requested within seven minutes of the first. But water soon became the greatest problem. Two conditions combined with disastrous results: First, there were no fire department connections to the sprinkler system, according to Deputy Chief A. Marvin Roberts. Then, nine minutes after the first alarm, someone in the plant cut off the electrical supply at the transformer, also shutting off the pumps supplying water to the sprinklers. After the fire-the largest ever in Pennsylvania-K mart Vice President of Distribution and Warehousing Joe E. Thomas announced plans to rebuild the warehouse…

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