The Conshohocken Fire Department issued its NFIRS (National Fire Incident Reporting System) Report on the Millennium Fire on September 2, 2008. This report detailed specific aspects of the fire that caused much devastation and destruction in the Borough.
You can read the NFIRS Report in its entirety by clicking here.
The fire began at Stables At Millennium, a residential complex under construction on Washington Street in Conshohocken.
There were 8 alarms sounded on August 13, 2008, to secure assistance from fire companies and fire departments throughout Conshohocken and the Freedom Valley as well as beyond.
The report estimated damage at $34.5 million.
A few quotes from the report:
“CFD [Conshohocken Fire Department] was dispatched to 203 Washington Street for a building fire at the construction site on Washington Street. Fire Department [personnel] arrived to find the correct location to be 301 Washington Street – “The Stables At Millennium” construction site in which there was 4 buildings under construction; building 100 was only concrete and steel (no wood construction started as of time of the fire), [buildings] 200 and 300 – 4 story wood frame construction with some sections of roof installed and a 2 story club house located between the 200 & 300 buildings. Fire Department personnel arrived to find heavy fire conditions on the second floor at the A-D corner of the 300 building. As crews were establishing water supply lines and attack line for fire suppression the fire conditions rapidly advanced throughout the open frame construction of the building making the building of origin to become fully involved in fire. There was a total of 5 [exposures]: Exposure I was the Club House at the Stables, Exposure 2 Building 200 at the Stables, Exposure 3 was 227 Washington Street “Millennium III office building”, Exposure 4 was 309 Washington Street Building 4000 “Riverwalk At Millennium” and Exposure 5 was 309 Washington Street Building 1000 “Riverwalk At Millennium”. Building 300 became fully involved in fire to the point that there was collapse of the structure members, the building was a total loss.”
“[Exposures] 1 & 2: At this time the amount of radiant heat being produced by combustion of raw materials (wood & construction materials) in the 300 building the fire started spreading to the exposure building located on the construction site and adjacent to the construction site. Due to the close proximity of buildings 200 (approximately 25 Ft. from building 300 and connected to the club house at the C-D corner) and the club house (connected to building 300 on B-C corner) they also became fully involved in fire [within] the early [minutes] of the fire. Buildings 100 & the club house became fully involved in fire to the point that there was collapse of the structure members, the buildings were total loses.”
“Exposure 3: With the fire conditions that were now burning on the, construction site, the exposure at 227 Washington Street “Millennium III office building” which was located approximately 52 Ft. away started to become involved in fire (roof, second floor, exterior features of the building) at this time the sprinkler system of this building activated on the second floor and held the fire to the B-C corner inside the building. Roofing material continued to burn while elevated master stream and deck guns were placed in service.”
“Exposure 4: With the fire conditions that were now burning in Exposure 2 (approximately 60 Ft. away) & [Exposure] 1 and the radiant heat being produced the exterior facade and roof material started to burn. Also [due] to the heat being produced the window glazing started to fail which also let more radiant heat into the dwelling units until the combustible materials in some units reached [their] ignition and started to burn. With fire fighting effort used to extinguish the fire and the amount of water used to do this task, there was catastrophic failure in numerous sections of the building.”
“Exposure 5: With the fire conditions that were now burning in Exposure 4 (approximately 40 Ft. away) & [Exposure] 2 (Approximately 30 Ft.) and the radiant heat being produced the exterior facade and roof material started to burn. Also [due] to the heat being produced the window glazing started to fail which also let more radiant heat into the dwelling units until the combustible materials in some units reached [their] ignition temperature and started to burn. With fire fighting effort used to extinguish the fire and the amount of water used to do this task, there was catastrophic failure in numerous sections of the building.”
“Conclusion: The fire [reached] a total of 8 alarms with numerous special pieces of apparatus being additional called to the scene. The fire was placed under control at 22:29 hrs. 8-13-08. [The] scene was inspected by the Borough Engineer at 10:30 hrs. 8-14-08 to [evaluate] what sections of the buildings were structurally unsound. This was relayed to the management company and [their] Engineer on site, and those sections that were a structural danger to the public were made safe. The assignment was recalled at 18:35 hrs on 8-14-08.”
“Origin & Cause: The origin [and] cause for the fire was conducted by the Montgomery County Detectives Office. Any requests for reports on the Origin & Cause must be forwarded to that office.”
The next news column will detail the results of the investigation of the cause of the Millennium Fire.
The copy of the NFIRS Report is courtesy of The Law Firm of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, September 2, 2008.
The first photograph is courtesy of Mr. Shea Roggio of Packaforma, August 13, 2008.
The second and third photographs are courtesy of Ms. Ying Nichada, August 13, 2008.
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