Historic fire disasters
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): J. W. Kerr
Publication Year: 1971

Cataloging Information

  • coniferous forests
  • convection
  • crown fires
  • fire case histories
  • fire protection
  • fire suppression
  • fire whirls
  • firebrands
  • firebreaks
  • heat
  • histories
  • ignition
  • Illinois
  • incendiary fires
  • laboratory fires
  • light
  • New York
  • pine forests
  • radiation
  • rate of spread
  • surface fires
  • urban habitats
  • wind
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 35028
Tall Timbers Record Number: 9319
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


'...With that impressionistic gallop through history as a backdrop, let me touch upon some of the technical material that has come to light as a result of urban fires and the research devoted to their prevention and cure. Perhaps the dominant area of uncertainty and of study effort has been and continues to be the development and spread of fire. Spread machanisms are three in number: convection, radiation and firebrands. Everyone who has lived in a home or cabin with a space heater has benefitted from convection, that tangible flow of hot air , rising from the top of a space heater. For the student of fire, this comes to the fore in several cases. First, there is a problem of how a room heats up and progresses from a small fire involving say one piece of furniture to a full-room 'flashover,' a phenomenon well known to fire fighters the world over. Accounts of the Chicago fire, and the New York City fire of 1835 emphasize the 'explosion into flames' of entire buildings, originally considered 'fireproof.'...'

Kerr, J. W. 1971. Historic fire disasters. Fire research abstracts & reviews, v. 13, no. 1, p. 1-16.