Firefighting, Structural Firefighting

Lessons Learned: The Glenwood Towers Fire

Issue 1 and Volume 173.

By Christopher Wilson On October 26, 2018, just after lunch at 12:55 p.m., Raleigh (NC) Fire Department (RFD) Engine 13 and Ladder 4 responded to a fire alarm activation at Glenwood Towers, a 14-story residential high-rise in the city’s Glenwood South district, at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and West Johnson Street (Figure 1). Built in 1971, the nonsprinklered, standpipe-equipped Type I fire-resistive building has more than 300 apartments. The apartments and public corridors were equipped with smoke detectors. The building’s center section extends to 14 stories; two attached wings extend to 10 stories. Engine 13 approached from the Tucker Street side (Division B) with nothing visible from Tucker or Glenwood (Division A). On exiting the engine and entering the building, the crew noticed that the elevators had been recalled to the lobby and were open and that some occupants said there was smoke on the floors. Ladder 4 approached…

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