Cook County Administration Building

Chicago, IL

Market: Office


Cook County Administration Building fire
malfunctioning smoke louvers
malfunctioning smoke louvers

On the afternoon of 17 October 2003, a fire started on the twelfth floor of the thirty-seven story Cook County Administration Building.  At that time, the doors from the stairway to the vestibules on most of the floors were locked against exiting from the stairway.  Six people found in the southeast stairway above the fire floor had died of smoke inhalation.  SGH evaluated the impact of malfunctioning smoke louvers that were part of the smokeproof enclosure system for the exit stairway, and provided expert opinions on the conditions that led to the fatalities as a result of the fire.