#TBT From The NFPA Archives: The Blind Attic Flue

Blog Post created by jrodowicz Employee on Sep 5, 2019


The above image displays how a concealed attic space acted as a flue to spread a fire that destroyed St. Paul’s Church in Newburyport, Massachusetts on April 27, 1920.


From NFPA Quarterly vol. 14, no.2 (1920):


The fire was discovered about 4 A.M. burning on the roof of the parish house. This is the addition at the rear of the church, appearing at the right in the picture. The firemen came promptly, and in a few minutes apparently had it well under control. Then, without any intermediate appearance, flames broke out in the tower, having traveled, unseen, through the blind attic over the church proper. Two hours later the fire was extinguished, leaving the church as shown in the picture.


For more information regarding this and other moments in fire history, please feel free to reach out to the NFPA Research Library & Archives.


The NFPA Archives houses all of NFPA's publications, both current and historic.


Library staff are available to answer research questions from members and the general public.