Faculty Advisor

Spanagel, David I.


This paper provides a historical analysis of the consequences of the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Company fire. On December 3, 1999 the Worcester Fire Department responded to a five-alarm fire at the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Company. Six firefighters died, making it the worst structure fire in terms of loss of life to firefighters for the City of Worcester. In response, key issues related to the fire incident were identified. This paper examines how the Worcester Fire Department and the City of Worcester changed their safety culture to reduce civilian and firefighter injuries and fatalities and how the development of fire protection engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has affected the Worcester Fire Department.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2018


Humanities and Arts

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Humanities and Arts