#TBT From The NFPA Archives: U.S. Treasury Building Fire - May 3, 1922

Blog Post created by jrodowicz Employee on May 4, 2017

May 3, 1922 - US Treasury Building Fire

Damage caused by an oil burner used for heating roofing cement on the U.S. Treasury building roof; May 3, 1922.


In 1922, the U.S. Treasury Building roof suffered a series of fires caused by heating apparatus that were used by contractors for roofing cement and pitch. A fire early in February caused considerable damage to temporary structures on the roof and greatly inconvenienced the Drafting Division of the Supervising Architect. After repairs and placing what was thought to be more than sufficient protection for the wood floor of the gallery, the equipment was again put to use.


From the NFPA Quarterly v.16, No.3, 1923:


"At 1:45 A.M. on the morning of May 3 fire was found burning under the platform and in the printing gallery. Both were a total loss. This second fire did damage to the extent of $6000 and incidental inconvenience and loss amounting to more than the money value of the damage. 


The burner used for heating the slater's cement was thought by the Fire Marshal to have caused the fire and at the request of the committee appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to determine the cause of the fire the Bureau of Standards made an investigation of heat transmission through such protection as had been used on the floor."



For more information regarding this or other historic fires, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Library

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