St. George Hotel Complex 16-Alarm Fire

Technical BulletinLast updated Thursday, August 31, 1995
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More than 700 firefighters operating over 100 pieces of firefighting apparatus were needed to control a fire that involved several large interconnected buildings in a crowded neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York on August 26, 1995. The complex of buildings was known as the St. George Hotel. It was the largest fire in New York City in more than twenty years, and one of the largest in the city’s history.

The fire began in a vacant nine-story building and spread to several adjacent exposures, including an occupied 31-story apartment building. The fire was well developed on the ninth floor by the time it was located by the first arriving companies due to a delay in reporting the fire and the initial dispatch to a different building. An interior attack was attempted, however, the standpipe in the fire building was not functional and the firefighters were forced to abandon their initial attack as the fire spread through the original fire building and into the exposures.

The fire presented severe life safety and property exposure challenges on all four sides, in addition to generating a storm of fire brands that were carried by the wind and threatened an even larger area.

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