HIGH-RISE: An Analysis

Issue 8 and Volume 141.

FEATURES FIRE REPORT Photos by Elmer F Chapman HIGH-RISE: An Analysis The nation’s most destructive high-rise fire begins to reveal some of its lessons. On May 4, 1988, at about 10:30 p.m., fire broke out in Los Angeles’ 62-story 1st Interstate Bank building. In terms of damage and severity, it was the most devastating high-rise fire in United States history. The fire destroyed five floors of the structure. Four of the floors sustained complete devastation of the occupied space for the full 360 degrees around the center core. It’s estimated that damage from fire, water, and smoke will incur $400 million dollars in restoration costs. Fifty-eight fire department units and more than 275 firefighters were used to fight the 1st Interstate Bank fire. This represented 40 percent of Los Angeles City Fire Department’s on-duty personnel. It took approximately three-andone-half hours to extinguish the blaze. There were more than 40 people…

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