February 23, 1991 was just another quiet Saturday night in downtown Philadelphia until an alarm sounded inside the One Meridian Plaza office building near city hall. An employee of the building who was a building maintenance engineer there went to the 22nd floor where the alarm was originating and was nearly killed when the elevator doors opened to a heavy heat and smoke condition.
The Philadelphia Fire Department was then dispatched and began one of the most labor-intensive fire operations in their history. The fire burned for more than 19 hours and tragically claimed the lives of three Philadelphia firefighters: Captain David P. Holcombe, Firefighter Phyllis McAllister, and Firefighter James Chappell.
In this edition of the Fire Engineering Building Awareness Group, we will look at the problems of the building systems, construction, and overall tactics with one of the co-authors of the fire service after action report done on this event, Charles Jennings.
RELATED FIREFIGHTER TRAINING
U.S. Fire Administration: Highrise Office Building Fire, One Meridian Plaza