Abandoned Cold Storage Warehouse Multi-Firefighter Fatality Fire: Worcester, Massachusetts [open pdf - 1018KB]
"The U.S. [United States] Fire Administration develops reports on selected major fires throughout the country. The fires usually involve multiple deaths or a large loss of property. But the primary criterion for deciding to do a report is whether it will result in significant 'lessons learned.' In some cases these lessons bring to light new knowledge about fire-the effect of building construction or contents, human behavior in fire, etc. In other cases, the lessons are not new but are serious enough to highlight once again, with yet another fire tragedy report. In some cases, special reports are developed to discuss events, drills, or new technologies which are of interest to the fire service. [...] This body of work provides detailed information on the nature of the fire problem for policymakers who must decide on allocations of resources between fire and other pressing problems, and within the fire service to improve codes and code enforcement, training, public fire education, building technology, and other related areas. [...] On Friday, December 3, 1999, at 1813 hours, the Worcester, Massachusetts Fire Department dispatched Box 1438 for 266 Franklin Street, the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. A motorist had spotted smoke coming from the roof while driving on an adjacent elevated highway. The original building was constructed in 1906, contained another 43,000 square feet. Both were 6 stories above grade. The building was known to be abandoned for over 10 years. Due to these and other factors, the responding District Chief ordered a second alarm within 4 minutes of the initial dispatch."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/