Lightweight Wood Truss Floor Construction: A Fire Lesson

Issue 7 and Volume 141.

Lightweight Wood Truss Floor Construction: A Fire Lesson FEATURES BUILDING CONSTRUCTION A recent San Antonio fire provides some hard-hitting lessons about the safety of this common type of construction. Recently, a multiple-alarm fire destroyed half of a three-story apartment building in San Antonio, Texas. It was one in a series of extra-alarm fires in which lightweight, wood-frame trusses with metal surface fasteners proved to be an important factor in firefighting operations. Upon arrival at the fire building, firefighters noted smoke issuing from the area of the fireplace chimney at the building’s roof level. Firefighters entered the building and advanced to the second-floor area where smoke had been detected by occupants. During fire search and occupant removal of a second-floor apartment, firefighters noticed that fire was travelling up the walls at the rear of the apartment’s fireplace. At about the same time, firefighters outside the building saw that fire had broken…

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