WIT Press

Modeling A Real Backdraft Incident Fire


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WIT Press


A. Tinaburri & M. Mazzaro


This paper reports the fire conditions that occurred in a townhouse and the results of software simulations that were performed to provide insight on the peculiar thermal conditions that developed. Fire rescue was called by the occupants of the house when they became aware that smoky conditions were developing on the second floor. Two of the firefighters entered the bedroom where the smoke was originating from and a short time after a flame front invested them while propagating them backward into the stairwell. The post fire investigation determined that the fire started as a consequence of the smoldering combustion of material contained in a wardrobe located adjacent to one of the room walls. A simulation scenario was developed based on the information obtained on the actual building geometry, material thermal properties and the fire behaviour. The calculations that best represented the actual fire conditions indicate that the partial opening of the window and bedroom door provided outside air (oxygen) to a pre-heated, under ventilated fire compartment. Keywords: smouldering combustion, backdraft, fire models, fire investigation. 1 Introduction Part of the mission of the department of the firefighters, public rescue and civil defence is to conduct basic and applied fire research, including fire investigations, for the purposes of understanding fundamental fire behaviour and to reduce losses from fire. On February 3, 2003, a fire in a townhouse near Lucca


smouldering combustion, backdraft, fire models, fire investigation.