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NCJ Number: 63943 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: DANBURY, CONNECTICUT - FIVE DIE IN FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION FIRE (FROM ANALYSES OF THREE MULTIPLE FATALITY PENAL INSTITUTION FIRES, 1978)
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: National Fire Protection Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Fire Protection Assoc
Boston, MA 02210
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CIRCUMSTANCES OF A FIRE THAT KILLED FIVE INMATES IN THE MEDIUM-SECURITY DANBURY, CONNECTICUT, FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION ARE DESCRIBED, AND FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE LOSS OF LIFE ARE IDENTIFIED.
Abstract: AT ABOUT 1:15 AM ON JULY 7, 1977, A FIRE BEGAN IN AN INMATE'S CLOTHES HANGING ON WOODEN PEGS IN THE WASHROOM OF G UNIT, AND BEFORE IT WAS EXTINGUISHED ABOUT 45 MINUTES LATER, FIVE INMATES HAD DIED OF SMOKE ASPHYXIATION. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THIS LOSS OF LIFE WERE THE PRESENCE OF FUELS THAT PROMOTED RAPID FLAME AND SMOKE DEVELOPMENT, THE FAILURE TO EVACUATE OCCUPANTS QUICKLY AND RELIABLY (THE TWO PRIMARY EXITS WERE BLOCKED BY THE FIRE AND A BROKEN KEY IN A LOCK, LEAVING A NARROW CATWALK AS THE ONLY EXIT), AND THE FIRE NOT BEING EXTINGUISHED IN AN INCIPIENT STAGE. AN AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEM WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MOST RELIABLE FIRE DEFENSE FOR G UNIT; HOWEVER, EVEN WITHOUT AUTOMATIC DETECTION AND SUPPRESSION EQUIPMENT, THE FIRESAFETY SYSTEM, WITH LITTLE EXPENDITURE OF MONEY, COULD HAVE BEEN MORE EFFECTIVE BY REVISIONS TO EMERGENCY PROCEDURES IN THE FIRE PLAN. THE DANBURY FIRE DEPARTMENT BECAME THE PRIMARY MANUAL FIRE SUPPRESSION FORCE, SINCE THE INMATE FIRE BRIGADE WAS NEVER RELEASED FROM HOUSING UNITS AND THE INSTITUTION'S FIRE APPARATUS WAS NEVER USED. THE DANBURY FIRE DEPARTMENT WAS NOT CALLED UNTIL ABOUT 15 MINUTES AFTER THE FIRE'S DISCOVERY BECAUSE OF A FIRE PLAN THAT CALLED FOR INITIAL USE OF THE INSTITUTION'S FIREFIGHTING RESOURCES. SINCE THE FIRE, THE INSTITUTION STAFF AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT HAVE REVIEWED AND UPDATED THE INSTITUTION'S FIRE EMERGENCY PLAN. A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM OF FUEL CONTROL, ADDITIONAL FIRE DETECTION AND SUPPRESSION EQUIPMENT, AND TRAINING AND PLANNING SESSIONS HAVE ALSO BEEN ESTABLISHED, NOT ONLY AT DANBURY BUT THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. THIS DOCUMENT, ALONG WITH NCJ 63941-42, ACCOMPANY THE AUDIOVISUAL NCJ 63944. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Case studies; Connecticut; Correctional facilities; Fire emergency planning
Note: REPORT BASED ON AN INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY THE NFPA (NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION) FIRE INVESTIGATIONS DEPARTMENT ACCOMPANYING SLIDES IN NCJ-63944
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63943

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