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NCJ Number: 63942 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK (CANADA) - 21 DIE IN JAIL 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: THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF A JAIL FIRE THAT KILLED 21 PERSONS IN SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK ARE DESCRIBED, AND FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE EXTENSIVE LOSS OF LIFE ARE IDENTIFIED.
Abstract: THE SAINT JOHN CITY DETENTION CENTER, LOCATED ON THE LOBBY LEVEL OF THE CITY HALL, EXPERIENCED A FIRE IN ITS PADDED CELL ON JUNE 21, 1977. THE INITIAL MATERIALS IGNITED WERE APPARENTLY THE STYRENE-BUTADIENE RUBBER FOAM PADDING AND THE FIBERGLASS-REINFORCED POLYVINYLCHLORIDE UPHOLSTERING COVERING THE PADDING. THE FIRE WAS MOST LIKELY INCENDIARY. WHEN CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS OPENED THE DOOR TO THE PADDED CELL, AN INRUSH OF OXYGEN CAUSED A RAPID ACCELERATION OF THE FIRE, ACCOMPANIED BY HEAVY BLACK SMOKE FROM THE BURNING PADDING, WHICH COMPLETELY FILLED THE DETENTION CENTER AND SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE 16-STORY BUILDING THROUGH ELEVATOR SHAFTS AND HEATING, VENTILATING, AND AIR CONDITIONING DUCTS. THERE WAS NO SMOKE CONTROL SYSTEM. SMOKE CONDITIONS DEVELOPED SO RAPIDLY THAT THE 20 INMATES THAT DIED FROM THE TOXIC FUMES COULD NOT HAVE BEEN SAVED UNLESS WOULD-BE RESCUING OFFICERS HAD BREATHING APPARATUS. THE COMBINATION OF RAPID FIRE DEVELOPMENT AND FAILURE TO EXTINGUISH THE FIRE IN ITS INCIPIENT STAGE WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FACTORS IN THE EXTENSIVE LOSS OF LIFE. THE RAPID FIRE DEVELOPMENT INDICATES THAT EARLY-WARNING DETECTION AND MANUAL SUPPRESSION MAY NOT BE SUFFICIENT FIRE DEFENSES IN SOME INSTANCES. IF FIRE DEFENSE IS TO BE EFFECTIVE, STRICT FUEL CONTROL, PROPER MEANS OF OCCUPANT PROTECTION (EITHER EVACUATE OR DEFEND IN PLACE), AND PREFIRE PLANNING AND TRAINING MUST BE PROVIDED. THIS DOCUMENT, ALONG WITH NCJ 63941 AND 63943, ACCOMPANY THE AUDIOVISUAL NCJ 63944. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Case studies; Fire emergency planning; New Brunswick; Prison construction
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=63942

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