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Charleston Super Sofa Fire - Research Paper Example

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This research will begin with the statement that the nine firefighters who died June 18, 2007, in the Sofa Super Store Fire are still remembered as the “Charleston Nine”. They were killed after becoming trapped in the furniture store, due to the unexpectedly rapid growth of the fire…
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Charleston Super Sofa Fire
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Download file to see previous pages This paper presents that at 6:07 PM local time on June 18, 2007, a fire was reported behind the Sofa Super Store in Charleston, SC, and three minutes later the fire department arrived and confirmed a fire at the side of the building by the loading dock. The Assistant Chief entered the main showroom and reported that there were no signs of fire in that area. However, when he subsequently opened a door into the loading dock, he discovered an extensive fire (NIOSH). The force of the fire in the loading dock reportedly pulled the door out of the grasp of the Assistant Chief, and he could not shut it. The fire rapidly escaped into the main showroom and filled that showroom, an addition on the showroom, and the warehouse. Compounding the issue, the materials used in the manufacture of the furniture stock released large amounts of soot and toxic chemicals along with flammable gases in the smoke (NIOSH). The incompletely combusted fuel and flammable smoke collected above the drop ceiling, as well as filling the entire building with dense clouds (NIST; NIOSH). The smoke filling the building quickly disoriented the firefighters on the internal crew (NIOSH). The rapid spread of the fire trapped six men in the main showroom and three in the western addition (Nicol). Twenty minutes after the initial dispatch call, the interior crew made radio calls, broken but heard as variations of “need help” and “can't get out” (NIOSH). During the attempt to search for the missing firefighters, mutual aid firefighters broke the showroom windows, and shortly afterward the fire was seen escaping out the broken window panes (NIOSH). The increased ventilation from breaking the glass also allowed the fuel collected above the drop ceiling to catch, causing an even more rapid growth of the fire, and greatly increasing the temperature inside the building (NIST). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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