Analysis of a Fatal Wind-Driven Fire in a Single-Story House

Issue 6 and Volume 165.

BY ADAM BAROWY AND DANIEL MADRZYKOWSKI Part of the mission of the Fire Research Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards to improve the understanding of the behavior, prevention, and control of fires to enhance firefighting operations and equipment, fire suppression, fire investigations, and disaster response. NIST has previously used the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) to provide insight on the fire development and thermal conditions of other multiple-fatality fires.1-7 The overriding objective of all of these studies is to improve the safety of firefighters. On April 12, 2009, a fire in a one-story ranch home in Texas claimed the lives of two firefighters. Sustained high winds occurred during the incident. The winds caused a rapid change in the dynamics of the fire after the failure of a large section of glass in the rear of the house. At…

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