Indianapolis Athletic Club Fire-Key
Casualties Two firefighters and one civilian died;
four firefighters were seriously injured.
Fire Origin Electrical malfunction in or near a
refrigerator in bar on third floor.
Structure Nine-story mixed use 70-year-old
building, no sprinklers.
Interior Finishes Highly combustible interior finish
fueled the rapid spread of the fire.
Standpipes Incompatible threads and lack of hose
outlets for fire department use on the
occupant use standpipe hose system
hampered fire department attack.
Concealed Spaces Overhead noncombustible concealed
spaces allowed products of combustion to
accumulate above the ceiling. The fire
spread rapidly when these gases ignited.
Unenclosed Stairways Unenclosed and unprotected stairways
provided an ideal avenue of vertical fire
and smoke spread, permitting the fire to
involve a significant portion of the floor
above the fire.
Confusing Exit Arrangement Confusing exit arrangement
upward smoke migration via the stairways
may have contributed the loss of one
Mechanical System Control Smoke detection was not
shut down air handling systems; this
contributed to smoke transport
throughout the building.
Fire Detection and
Only partial smoke detection was provided in the building.
smoke detector to the room of origin, in
the elevator lobby, was not connected to
the building fire alarm system.
Automatic sprinklers were not provided.
Revolving doors appeared to impede
firefighter access and the deployment of
a back-up hoseline.
Fire Department Tactics The lack of standard operating
procedures for buildings with standpipes
and/or a pre-fire plan for the specific
building may have compromised efforts
to control the fire.
Communications Equipment One firefighter was seriously
attempting to activate the emergency
notification button on his portable radio.
Communications Systems Problems in communication between
Incident Commander and the
Communications Center may be related
to the activation of a new radio system
shortly before the incident. Additional
training should have been conducted.