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Fatal Training Fires: Fire Analysis for the Fire Service



Daniel M. Madrzykowski


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has investigated the fire conditions of two very different fire training incidents that resulted in the loss of life. One incident occurred in an acquired structure and the other occurred in a concrete training tower. In both cases, NIST conducted real scale fire experiments to gain insight into the thermal conditions that may have existed during the incidents. The results of the experiments will be presented and discussed so that future incidents of this type can be avoided. This is one of many studies by NIST to assist the fire service in the practical understanding of fire dynamics. This paper will provide a summary of each incident and a discussion of how the incidents were simulated with real scale fire experiments. Ineach incident, it appeared that extremely high heat conditions had occurred. The experiments examine the impact of fuel load, and the impact of the structure in terms of ventilation and heat transfer on the fire environment.
Proceedings Title
International Interflam Conference, 11th Proceedings.
Conference Dates
September 3-5, 2007
Conference Location


fire fighting training, training, fire fighters, fire departments, case histories, death, experiments, scale fires, fuel load, structures, ventilation, heat transfer, fire behavior, NFPA 1403, thermoouples, instrumentation, flashover, measuring instruments, temperature, heat release rate, protective clothing, pallets, fire load, self contained breathing apparatus


Madrzykowski, D. (2007), Fatal Training Fires: Fire Analysis for the Fire Service, International Interflam Conference, 11th Proceedings. , London, , [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created September 3, 2007, Updated February 19, 2017