The fire behavior of heptane burning in a poorly ventilated compartment was studied. The diameter of the heptane pan fires were varied and the ventilation opening size and location were adjusted. Two kinds of compartment fire experiment were conducted: (1) horizontal slits at the top and bottom of a wall, and (2) a single vent at the roof. Temperature, oxygen, fuel mass loss rate and differential pressure were measured. Extinction was studied with an oxygen meter to find the minimum oxygen concentration in the compartment achieved in ventilation-controlled fires. Extinguishments due to ventilation or complete fuel consumption was distinguished. Flow exchange was measured by differential pressure transducers. Particularly, flow exchange of ceiling vent was examined by calculation of flooding pressure difference, which will allow bi-directional flow. The wall vent case had oscillatory combustion (puffing), which sometimes leads to an increase in fire amplitude followed by extinction. This was not observed for the ceiling vent case. Video recording of the flame was conducted through a glass on sidewall. The fire behavior varied from conditions in which the flame extinguishes to cases of steady burning. In some cases, “ghosting flames” were observed.

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