Around 3000 supporters were in Bradford City’s main stand for the match with Lincoln City on 11th May 1985. Five minutes before half-time a glowing light was noticed and spectators felt their feet becoming warmer.
The stand seats did not have risers and over the years this had allowed a huge amount of dropped rubbish to accumulate below them. It is believed that a spectator dropped a match or cigarette, which fell through holes and into the rubbish. In the ensuing fire, 56 people died and more than 265 were injured.
Following the disaster, BRE carried out an investigation into the rapid spread of fire through the wooden grandstands at the football stadium. This examined such issues as the design of the structure, possible ignition sources, calculations of heat and smoke outputs, smoke temperature and radiated heat temperatures.
This work informed The Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975, and the subsequent Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 and guide to Safety at Sports Grounds.
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