Simulation of the Dynamics of a Fire in the Basement of a Hardware Store - New York, June 17, 2001.
Simulation of the Dynamics of a Fire in the Basement of
a Hardware Store - New York, June 17, 2001.
Bryner, N. P.; Kerber, S.
NISTIR 7137; 57 p. May 2004.
building fires; simulation; computational fluid
dynamics; fire dynamics; fire fighters; fire fatalities;
fire investigations; fire models; vents; material
properties; temperature; oxygen concentration; fire
This report describes the results of computer model
calculations to provide insight on the thermal
conditions that may have occurred during a fire in a
basement of a hardware store on June 17, 2001, in
Queens, New York. These calculations were performed
using the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS). A FDS model
scenario was developed that represented the building
geometry, material thermal properties, and fire behavior
based on information and photographs either gathered at
the fire scene or provided by the Fire Department of New
York and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms
(ATF). The results from this model scenario are provided
in this report. The FDS (version 2.0) calculations that
best represent the reported fire conditions indicate
that a fire initially between 500 kW and 2000 kW
originating near the rear basement door of the hardware
store would have generated temperatures sufficient to
cause the fusible link to release the fire door in less
than 130 s. The oxygen concentration profiles suggest
that a 2000 kW fire with the fire door closed could have
depleted the oxygen in Unit 20 in less than 380 s. A
2000 kW fire with the fire door open would have required
more time, approximately 650 s, in order to deplete the
oxygen in Unit 20 and 22. This limited set of fire
reconstructions included 500 kW, 1000 kW, and 2000 kW
initiating fires in scenarios that allowed the fire door
to close and in cases where the fire door remained open.
This range of 500 kW to 2000 kW corresponds to
approximately 4% to 18% of the organics solvents
becoming involved in the fire.