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The Fuse 47 Fire, A Case Study in NFPA 241

  • Fire & Risk Alliance Conference Room 3106 JM Patterson Bldg College Park, MD 20742 (map)

Mat Chibbaro, P.E.
Deputy Fire Marshal
Division of the Fire Marshal
National Institutes of Health

The Fuse 47 Building in College Park, MD was a 7 story Type I and Type III podium-style building a few months from occupancy when a 5-alarm fire devastated it. Unlike the many U.S. fires that have occurred in these types of buildings, a sustained interior attack ensued and the fire was eventually stopped at a large trench cut - despite challenges encountered with the construction, water supply, and standpipe systems. This dynamic presentation will cover the challenges faced during the firefighting operation and the aspects of the building that either helped or hampered firefighting efforts. Code-related aspects include both lessons re-learned from provisions currently in NFPA 241 and suggestions for improving the standard or amending it when adopted to better facilitate firefighting operations and protect buildings in their vulnerable incomplete stage.

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