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High-rise building reports and investigations

NFPA publishes a number of detailed reports about high-rise buildings and related safety issues.

NFPA fire investigation reports involving high-rise buildings

Four property classes account for the majority of high-rise fires: office buildings, hotels, apartment buildings, and facilities that care for the sick. Automatic fire protection equipment and fire-resistive construction are more common in high-rise buildings that have fires than in other buildings of the same property use that have fires. The risks of fire, fire death, and direct property damage due to fire tend to be lower in high-rise buildings than in other buildings of the same property use.

  • Rockefeller Center (PDF,), New York City
    October 10, 1996
    An electrical fire in the landmark Rockefeller Center in New York City required a five alarm response by FDNY to control the fire. The damage caused by five separate fires in various electrical rooms caused significant interruption to a major television network.
  • Residential High-Rise (PDF), North York, ON
    January 6, 1995
    A fire in a North York, Ontario, residential high-rise building resulted in the deaths of six residents.
  • One Meridian Plaza (PDF), Philadelphia, PA
    February 23, 1991
    An early evening fire occurred at a 38-story high-rise building in downtown Philadelphia resulting in the death of 3 firefighters, fire extension to 9 floors, and severe structural damage to the building.
  • Elderly Housing (PDF), Johnson City TN
    December 24, 1989
    A fire occurred at the 11-story John Sevier Center. Fire damage was limited, but smoke travelled throughout the entire building. Sixteen building occupants died; at least 40 others were injured.
  • First Interstate Bank (PDF), Los Angeles, CA
    May 4, 1988
    An after-business hours fire in this 62-story building resulted in one fatality and destroyed four floors of the structure.
  • Alexis Nihon Plaza (PDF), Montreal, QC
    October 26, 1986
    Security guards discovered a fire on the 10th floor of this 15-story office tower. The blaze caused a portion of one floor to collapse and resulted in heavy fire damage to three other floors.
  • Prudential Building, Boston, MA (PDF)
    January 2, 1986
    A fire on the 14th floor of the 52-story Prudential Building resulted in the evacuation of some 1,500 people.