Remembering the One Meridian Plaza High-rise Fire, 1991

Ceremonies took place on Wednesday October 21 in Philadelphia, PA honoring PFD Fire Capt. David P. Holcombe, Firefighter Phyllis McAllister and Firefighter James A. Chappell who died in the line of duty while conducting operations at a high-rise fire in what is known as the One Meridian Plaza Fire which occurred on February 23, 1991. A fire on the 22nd floor of the 38-story Meridian Bank Building, also known as One Meridian Plaza, was reported to the Philadelphia Fire Department on February 23, 1991 at approximately 2040 hours and burned for more than 19 hours.

• The fire caused three firefighter fatalities (LODD) and injuries to 24 firefighters.
• The 12-alarms brought 51 engine companies, 15 ladder companies, 11 specialized units, and over 300 firefighters to the scene.
• It was the largest high-rise office building fire in modern American history --completely consuming eight floors of the building --and was controlled only when it reached a floor that was protected by automatic sprinklers.
• The Fire Department arrived to find a well-developed fire on the 22nd floor, with fire dropping down to the 21st floor through a set of convenience stairs.
• Heavy smoke had already entered the stairways and the floors immediately above the 22nd.
• Fire attack was hampered by a complete failure of the building's electrical system and by inadequate water pressure, caused in part by improperly set pressure reducing valves on standpipe hose outlets.

Check out the complete posting at Taking it to the Streets, HERE

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