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Structural Collapse Fire Tests: Single Story, Ordinary Construction Warehouse



D W. Stroup, Daniel M. Madrzykowski, William D. Walton, W H. Twilley


Two fire tests were conducted in a warehouse located in Phoenix, Arizona to develop data for evaluation of a methodology for predicting structural collapse. A firewall was constructed to divide the warehouse into two fire compartments. Temperatures were measured as a function of time in three locations during the first test and in two locations during the second test. In addition, the concentration of carbon monoxide was measured at selected locations during each test. Stacks of wood pallets were used as the primary fuel source and were ignited using paper and an electric match. Some combustible debris and the building structural elements provided the remainder of the fuel load. Peak temperatures obtained during the tests ranged from approximately 300 C (570 F) to 800 C (1470 F). Peak carbon monoxide measurement reached 4% in the first test and 5% during the second test. The roof of the front half of the structure burned through approximately 18 minutes after ignition of the fire for the first test. The roof of the back half of the structure began burning about 15 minutes after the start of the second test.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6959
Report Number


building collapse, building fires, fire data, fire fighting, large scale fire tests, structural failure, temperature measurements


Stroup, D. , Madrzykowski, D. , Walton, W. and Twilley, W. (2003), Structural Collapse Fire Tests: Single Story, Ordinary Construction Warehouse, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created May 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017