Comment: That seems to be a little dogmatic

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That seems to be a little dogmatic

Once steel reaches red heat (1500F), you're at a few percent of its original strength. If that remaining strength is enough to support the building, the building stands. If that's not enough, then the building falls, and almost any fire will exceed 1500F.

In the end it boils down to this: Did the beams get hot enough for the static load to exceed their collective strength?

I think some of the beams hit 1700 degrees, since I've gotten steel that hot with a small campfire in a few minutes.

Having designed and built steel structures, I also know that factors of safety rarely exceed 10 for a building, 5 is a more typical number, so even reducing steel to 20% of its strength (1250F) will cause structural members to fail.

So, how hot do you think the beams got? Keep in mind a candle flame is around 1900F.

Author of Shades of Thomas Paine, a common sense blog with a Libertarian slant.

http://shadesofthomaspaine.blogexec.com

Also author of Stick it to the Man!

http://www.amazon.com/Stick-Man-Richard-Moyer/dp/1484036417