One Meridian, once among Philadelphia’s most prestigious office addresses, was destroyed in a February, 1991, fire that began spontaneously in a pile of oil-soaked rags on the 22nd floor.  The fire raged for 18 hours and killed three firefighters.  Sprinklers stopped the flames at the 30th floor.  It was one of the worst high-rise fires in history.  Engine Company 11 Captain David P. Holcombe (age 52), Firefighter Phyllis McAllister (age 43), and Firefighter James A. Chappell (age 29) died in the line of duty while conducting operations at the One Meridian Plaza Fire.  (Adapted from:  “Last scorched story” by Reid Kanaley, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 3, 1999)


Did you know that during the One Meridian high rise fire in February, 1991, two pumpers were staged (tandem pumped) in series to generate enough pressure and volume of water to supply standpipes and risers?  The first pumper connected to a hydrant and pumped to the second pumper which then pumped into assigned standpipe connections for various high rises.  All of these pumpers ran flat out for about 18 hours.  All of the apparatus used for these evolutions were two stage pumps operated in the volume position.


Did you know that during the One Meridian high rise fire in February, 1991, five inch hose was used to supply standpipes in various high rises plus water for firefighting in One Meridian?  Pumpers at street level pumped water at 350 to 375 psi into this five inch hose.  Do you have an application in your jurisdiction or with mutual aid departments where your equipment may be called upon to operate beyond its design and will your equipment hold up?




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