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Structural Collapse Fire Tests: Single Story, Wood Frame Structures



D W. Stroup, Nelson P. Bryner, James J. Lee, Jay A. McElroy, G Roadarmel, W H. Twilley


A series of fire tests were conducted in Phoenix, Arizona to develop data for evaluation of a methodology for predicting structural collapse. The fire test scenario was selected as part of a training video being prepared by the Phoenix, Arizona Fire Department. Multiple fires were started in each structure to facilitate collapse; the fires were not intended to test the fire endurance of the structures. Four structures with different roof constructions were used for the fire tests. Temperatures were measured as a function of time in four locations within each structure. Furniture items were placed in the front and back of each structure to simulate living room and bedroom areas. The living room and bedroom areas of each structure were ignited simultaneously using electric matches. Peak temperatures obtained during the tests ranged from approximately 800 C (1500 F) to 1000 C (1800 F). The roof of each structure collapsed approximately 17 min after ignition. In addition to the full scale tests, the plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) roofing materials were tested using a cone calorimeter to characterize the fire properties of the materials.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


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


Stroup, D. , Bryner, N. , Lee, J. , McElroy, J. , Roadarmel, G. and Twilley, W. (2004), Structural Collapse Fire Tests: Single Story, Wood Frame Structures, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 14, 2024)


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Created March 1, 2004, Updated February 19, 2017