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Analysis of the Happyland Social Club Fire With HAZARD I



Richard W. Bukowski, R C. Spetzler


In the early morning hours of March 25, 1990 a tragic fire took the lives of 87 persons at a neighborhood club in the Bronx, New York. A few days later, the New York City Fire Department requested the assistance of the Center for Fire Research (CFR) in understanding the factors which contributed to this high death toll and to develop a strategy that might reduce the risk of a similar occurrence in the many similar clubs operating in the city. It was not the purpose of the CFR work to examine cause and origin, nor criminal or negligent actions which may or may not have taken place before or after the incident. In responding to this request, CFR staff visited the fire scene on March 29 to obtain information needed to perform an analysis with the HAZARD I Fire Hazard Assessment Method. Physical measurements taken on site along with floorplan drawings and newspaper accounts provided the only data on which this analysis was based. No material samples were taken and no testing was performed.
Fire and Arson Investigator
Publisher Info
, -1


hazard assessment, building fires, fire hazard, computer programs, hazard analysis, sprinklers, stairways, exits, costs, tenability limits, temperature, energy transfer, layer heights, oxygen concentration, carbon monoxide, fire investigations


Bukowski, R. and Spetzler, R. (1992), Analysis of the Happyland Social Club Fire With HAZARD I, Fire and Arson Investigator, , -1, [online], (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created March 1, 1992, Updated February 17, 2017