Our English correspondent Seneca III has applied his analytical abilities to photographs of the building at 514 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, before it exploded, burned, and was demolished.
II. Explosions continued
by Seneca III
Part IIB — Structural Damage & Debris Fields
(Click on photos to enlarge)
(a) Structural damage
An appreciation of the state of the external fabric of the building would be useful (as the building was in 2011, that is, when the Street View photos were taken). First the bay windows at and next to the epicentre…
Frame 6: …which are not in the best of condition and hence structurally quite weak.
Frame 6A (1, above)
Frame 6B (2, above)
Frame 6C (3, above)
And secondly the state of the external walls/brickwork.
Followed by a reminder of the structural damage and the debris field that a gas explosion will do to even a relatively new house constructed according to modern building standards…
Frame 8: … compared with…
…Frame 9: …with its minimal debris field and still relatively intact outer structural walls.
(b) Debris fields
Frame 10: Directly opposite the epicentre on the opposite side of the road are six or seven light, probably poorly anchored pieces…
Frame 10A: …from here…
Frame 10B: …and here.
(This would illustrate blast penetration of the first and second partition walls.)
However, this debris may not have travelled even this far on their own as it appears that this side of the road is an open parking area and it is possible that these pieces were cast onto to the sidewalk either by owners moving their cars away from the inferno or by the emergency services in order to give unhindered access to their vehicles and equipment.
Nor is there any substantial debris immediately in front of the building during the early recorded stages of the fire…
…and here where, for the first time, an air-conditioning unit appears on the scene…
…where it was either moved to from immediately below its 2011 location by the fire service for ease of access (note the orange markings on the sidewalk) or from another unit above installed since the original Street View.
|1.||This is a very light debris field — not at all of the size normally associated with a gas explosion.|
|2.||Structural damage to the fabric of the (degraded brickwork) building is limited to blown windows, their (rotting) wooden surrounds and a panel over a door leading to a stairway between the two inner partition walls closest to the apparent point of detonation — this damage is not of the magnitude normally associated with a gas explosion.|
|3.||Something fishy this way comes…
…to be concluded in Part III — Summary.
Previous posts about the explosion and fire in Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis, on New Year’s Day 2014:
For links to previous essays by Seneca III, see the Seneca III Archives.