Ballroom appeals fire marshal’s ruling

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From the Roanoke Times (link):

An emotional Frank Selbe told a city attorney and Roanoke fire officials Thursday night that if they hold to an occupancy limit of 49 people and require a fire escape or other second exit for the stately Corinthian Ballroom downtown, his wife and her co-owner will be out of business.

This is an interesting article. I guess it is unfortunate that the building has been used with only 1 exit for so many people for so long. Fortunately for the owners, the ruling was overruled.

The one thing I found most interesting was this:

Marston called witnesses who included architect Byron Dickson to testify that the building itself is essentially invulnerable to fire.

“The building’s fireproof,” said Dickson.

I thought that America had learned that nothing is fire proof back in the 60s and 70s. I thought that an educated man like Dickson wouldn’t use such catastrophe inducing words such as “FireProof”.

As for the owners and attendees of the Corinthian Ballroom, you should heed the warning of the Fire Marshal and other Fire Officials. If you want case study, just read about the Cocoanut Grove Fire or Triangle Shirtwaist fire where many people perished due to inadequate egress.

For educational purposes, while masonry and other fire proofing materials do not necessarily burn at reasonable fire related temperatures, they can fail. I can guarantee you that the building Dickson says is invulnerable to fire can and will easily burn to the ground, without the expertise of Roanoke’s Bravest that is.

Wasn’t it Jacob Aster, the Architect of the Titanic, who said it was unsinkable.

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