Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Lessons reexamined:

Sprinkler and standpipe systems must be maintained in vacant, millconstructed buildings.

Security service should be provided around the clock by building owners or those responsible for vacant structures of this type.

Codes should prohibit completely sealing these structures. Random openings should remain at various locations on all floors to provide for earlier fire detection and to allow a quick, defensive effort for possible fire knockdown from the outside.

Lessons reinforced:

Fires in abandoned, mill-constructed buildings can reach conflagration proportions rapidly. Such buildings are not “slow burners.”

If exposures are to be protected from the inside, handlines must be able to be stretched and positioned on all floors of the structure.

Interior attack is unlikely to succeed if fire in such structures has possession of more than one floor on arrival. Under these conditions, a defensive strategy should be used.

Master streams should be set up quickly to soak exposures subjected to radiant heat. This may be a higher-priority use of the master-stream water supply than fire knockdown.

Collapse of these structures should be planned for and indicators constantly monitored.

Plan for a collapse zone larger than the height of the structure in question. Sections of the building can “bounce,” causing damage, injury, and death.

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