NFPA Journal - May/June 2012 - (Page 28)

>> FIREWATCH from our files by Ken Tremblay A fire in a Rhode Island mill building went to eight alarms and was finally extinguished four days after it began. ManufactuRing Cutting torch fire destroys mill RHODE ISLAND—A large mill-type building that was being converted into a wood pellet manufacturing plant was destroyed by a fire that began when sparks from a cutting torch ignited its wooden support structure. The four-story building, which measured 300 feet (91 meters) by 50 feet (15 meters), was constructed of heavy timber and had brick walls, wooden floors, and a wooden roof. Its fire detection system was tied directly to the fire department. The fire sprinkler system had been turned off while the building was being renovated. The fire department received the alarm at 7:38 p.m. When firefighters arrived four minutes later, they could see no sign of fire on the outside of the building. While walking to the second floor, however, they smelled smoke and were informed that smoke was coming from several third-floor windows. When they got to the warehouse area on the second floor, they saw about 25 feet (8 meters) of fire near the ceiling. As smoke came pouring down the staircase, the firefighters made a fast exit and switched to exterior operations. Ultimately, the fire went to eight alarms, and the last unit was not cleared until four days later. Investigators determined that workers using cutting torches on piping inadvertently heated the wooden structural framing to its ignition point and that the building caught fire 60 to 90 minutes after they completed work for the day. Neither the value of the building and its contents nor damage estimates were reported. Two firefighters suf- fered dehydration while battling the fire and were transported from the scene by ambulance. Residential Man with mobility challenges dies in fire MICHIGAN—A man who used a wheelchair died in a fire in his singlefamily home. Another occupant tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire and move the victim out of harm’s way, but the intense smoke and heat made it impossible. The single-story, wood-frame house, which was 32 feet (10 meters) long and 29 feet (9 meters) wide, had a wooden roof deck covered with asphalt shingles. The house did not have a sprinkler system, but there was a battery-operated smoke alarm in the main hallway. 28 NFPA JOURNAL MAY/JUNE 2012 Photograph: AP Wide World Photos

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NFPA Journal - May/June 2012

Nfpa Journal - May/june 2012
First Word
In a Flash
Heads Up
Structural Ops
In Compliance
Buzz Words
Electrical Safety
Wildfire Watch
Treasurer's Report
Signal Concern
Giant Steps
Sprinklered Menagerie?
Free Samples
Eye on Health Care
Membership: The Sections
Expo Preview: Exhibitors' Showcase
Looking Back

NFPA Journal - May/June 2012