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Reply #2: Can a non-jet fuel/hydrocarbon fire collapse a steel structure? Reality. [View All]

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Make7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-05-05 06:41 PM
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2. Can a non-jet fuel/hydrocarbon fire collapse a steel structure? Reality.
When you enter a lightweight steel bar joist building on fire and you hear popping, cracking, creaking and metal to metal rubbing together, get out, the trusses are failing. It is not safe to enter for any reason. At 205 West Jefferson Street Captain Patterson, Engine 108, the first engine on the scene reported hearing popping sounds, cracking sounds and things that just did not sound right. After moving in about twenty feet attacking the fire, he wisely evacuated the building. The roof collapsed shortly after they evacuated. All of these sounds were steel I beams and trusses failing. At a recent warehouse fire in Prince Georges County MD companies were operating on the interior of the lightweight steel bar joist building. When Volunteer Chief 33, Ricky Riley, arrived on the scene and radioed his engine crew, he asked them, "what do you hear, do you hear anything", the response from the company officer was "yes, there are popping sounds" He ordered all interior companies to evacuate the building. The roof collapsed approximetley ten minutes after evacuation. Again, the sounds were the roof trusses failing.

In Chicago, Illinois, the McCormick Place Exhibition Center collapsed as a result of a fire in 1967. In this structure, the steel-frame of the building was unprotected. The reference to McCormick Place is significant because it illustrates the fact that steel-frame buildings can collapse as a result of exposure to fire. This is true for all types of construction materials, not only steel.

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