High Profile Library

ONE MERIDIAN PLAZA

PHILADELPHIA, PA

3 Firefighter Fatalities

One Meridian Plaza was a 38-story high-rise office building constructed in 1972.  At the time, Philadelphia was enforcing a 1949 building code and did not require an automatic sprinkler system, which contributed to the spread of the fire.  On a weekend while only three people were in the building, a fire caused by the spontaneous combustion of linseed soiled rags started on the 22nd floor and raged out of control for hours.  Firefighters experienced several issues during operations, from the loss of backup power in the building to low water pressure with the standpipe system.  T.J. Russo Consultants was retained to investigate the cause of the fire as well as the deaths of the firefighters.