Building Construction, Firefighting

Fire in a Fully Sprinklered Building

Issue 4 and Volume 167.

By Glenn P. Corbett On the afternoon of August 31, 2013, fire broke out at the roof level near the center of a nearly 300,000-square-foot food distribution warehouse in Delanco, New Jersey. The fire eventually destroyed nearly the entire fully sprinklered building, resulting in losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Solar panels, numbering more than 7,000, covered much of the structure’s roof. As of this writing, no official determination as to the cause of the fire has been released. Photos by author. Photo 1. The Type II constructed warehouse appears to have included a mixture of tilt walls of concrete and metal clad solid polyurethane (in the refrigerated storage areas). These polyurethane wall panels fell as a unit, just as a concrete wall panel would. Their failure could prove deadly to any firefighter operating next to them. Fortunately, firefighters were kept well clear of the collapse zone. Photo…

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