On December 31, 1986, a mid-afternoon fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel and Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico resulted in 97 fatalities and over 140 injuries. The NFPA analysis of the data indicates there were four major factors contributing to the loss of life. Those factors are:
• Lack of automatic sprinklers in the south ballroom (room of origin).
• Rapid fire growth and spread.
• Lack of automatic fire detection systems/ inadequate exits for the casino.
• Vertical opening between the ballroom and the casino levels.
Additional findings are:
• Smoke movement to the high-rise tower by way of vertical penetrations.
• Hotel tower occupants were not aware of a severe fire.
For the full NFPA Fire Investigation report.