PHILADELPHIA — Engineers assess fire-damaged building
Engineers cautiously crawled through four blackened and gutted stories yesterday to test the structural integrity of a downtown skyscraper where an 18-hour fire burned from the 22nd floor to the 30th during the weekend. Three firefighters were killed in the intensely hot fire.
Fire Commissioner Roger Ulshafer said yesterday that the 38-story structure was sound but that its granite facade was precarious in places.
Mr. Ulshafer said fighting the 12-alarm fire, which broke out Saturday night, was made much harder because the building had no sprinklers on the affected floors and because its internal water supply failed.
New water cutbacks are most drastic ever
California Gov. Pete Wilson announced yesterday new and unprecedented cutbacks of state water deliveries.
Mr. Wilson said heightened drought conditions had forced the state to notify all cities and industrial users served by the State Water Project that they could expect to receive only 10 percent of normal deliveries for the rest of year.
Because Southern California's Metropolitan Water District has already drawn that amount of water in January and February alone, officials said the announcement means that in March the state will effectively stop pumping water to Southern California.
Chief to chief