Modelling a Backdraft Incident: The 62 Watts Street (New York) Fire.
Modelling a Backdraft Incident: The 62 Watts Street
(New York) Fire.
Bukowski, R. W.
Institution of Fire Engineers; University of Sunderland;
Fire Research Station; CIB W14; Tyne and Wear
Metropolitan Fire Brigade. Fire Safety by Design.
Conference Proceedings. Volume 2. Case Studies and
Workshop Reports. July 10-12, 1995, UK, 77-82 pp, 1995.
Fire Engineers Journal, Vol. 56, No. 185, 14-17,
fire safety; safety engineering; backdraft; fire
fatalities; fire fighters; fire models; apartments;
smoke; heat release rate; oxygen concentration;
predictive models; temperature; computer models;
casualties; smoke; ventilation; building fires
On March 28, 1994, the New York City Fire Department
responded to a report of smoke and sparks issuing from a
chimney at a three-story apartment building in
Manhattan. The officer in charge ordered three person
hose teams to make entry into the first and second floor
apartments while the truck company ventilated the
stairway from the roof. When the door to the first
floor apartment was forced open, a large flame issued
from the apartment and up the stairway, engulfing the
three fire fighters at the second-floor landing. The
flame persisted for at least 6 1/2 minutes, resulting in
their deaths. The FDNY requested the assistance of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to
model the incident in the hope of understanding the
factors which produced a backdraft condition of such a
duration. The CFAST model was able to reproduce the
observed conditions and supported a theory of the
accumulation of significant quantities of unburned fuel
from a vitiated fire in an apartment which had been
insulated and sealed for energy efficiency.