Cook County Administration Building Fire, 69 West Washington, Chicago, Illinois, October 17, 2003: Heat Release Rate Experiments and FDS Simulations.
Cook County Administration Building Fire, 69 West
Washington, Chicago, Illinois, October 17, 2003: Heat
Release Rate Experiments and FDS Simulations.
Madrzykowski, D.; Walton, W. D.
NIST SP 1021; NIST Special Publication 1021; 489 p.
building fires; heat release rate; experiments;
simulation; high rise buildings; office buildings;
carpets; chairs; computers; paper; waste baskets; wall
coverings; cone calorimeters; fuel load; heat flux;
temperature; uncertainty; geometry; vents; ignition
source; sprinklers; fire spread; smoke spread
On October 17, 2003, in the Cook County Administration
Building, 69 West Washington, Chicago, Illinois, a fire
resulted in six fatalities and several injuries. In
response to a request from the Governor of Illinois, the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
agreed to provide technical assistance to the Governor's
review team headed by James Lee Witt. NIST's focus was
the simulation of the fire using the Fire Dynamic
Simulator (FDS) and visualizations using Smokeview to
provide insight into the fire growth and smoke movement.
A team from NIST visited the fire scene to collect data
for the model including; building dimensions, floor
plan, door and window locations, materials of
construction and furnishing, and fuels. In addition,
information collected by the Governor's team on fire
service operations and building systems was used to
develop the fire timeline. The NIST team also documented
the fire damage in order to compare fire model
predictions with the observed physical damage. Exemplar
interior finish materials and furnishings from the fire
floor, but undamaged by flames, were obtained for use in
laboratory scale heat release rate experiments.
Laboratory scale data for rate of heat release was
necessary for the fire model input and comparison to
fire model results. This report documents the
furnishings, the experiments conducted, and the results
of those experiments. This report also explains the
development of a computational simulation and the result
of those simulations. The NIST simulation started with a
small, flaming fire in the storage room and ended with
the start of fire suppression activities by the fire
department, 16 min 30 s later. The FDS simulations
provide insight into the fire development in Suite 1240.
The simulations examine the impact of the spread of
smoke into the southeast stairway with and without a
functioning smoke exhaust shaft. Another simulation
examined the impact of automatic fire suppression
sprinklers. The FDS simulation suggested that had
automatic sprinklers been present in the storage room
where the fire is believed to have originated, they
would have controlled the fire and limited the fire
spread to the room of fire origin.