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  • Writer's pictureRegion II

2007 Deutsche Bank Fire

"Nine years ago, on August 18, 2007 at 15:36 hours, a fire was reported in an abandoned high-rise structure undergoing asbestos abatement and deconstruction in New York City. The fire took the lives of two (2) FDNY firefighters: Joseph Graffagnino, 33, of Brooklyn, and Robert Beddia, 53, of Staten Island. By the time the fire was contained, 115 fire fighters had suffered injuries - 46 seriously enough to require medical leave.

Click here to read the news story.

The building's standpipe system had been disconnected during the deconstruction, and partitions constructed for asbestos abatement prohibited fire fighters from getting water to the seat of the fire. Sections of standpipe had portions of the supply pipe missing. The standpipe system was supplied by two (2) fire pumps, both of which were out of service on the day of the fire.

Here is a link to the NIOSH report about the fire.

Among other things, the fire highlighted the need to maintain fire protection equipment at all times, even during demolition activities. Please include fire protection during project planning before starting any construction, remediation, or demolition projects at your site, and establish a system to notify the fire department when fire protection/suppression systems are taken out of service.

(This is shared from an email sent to the Region 2 VPP Sites from Richard F. Brown, CSP, CFPS, VPP Manager, US DOL OSHA)

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