University of Washington Health Sciences Teaching Wing fire photograph collection, December 29, 1972

Overview of the Collection

University of Washington Health Sciences Teaching Wing fire photograph collection
December 29, 1972 (inclusive)
23 photographs, drawings of fire, clippings, and fire investigation report (1 box)
Collection Number
Photographs, clippings, and correspondence related to the University of Washington Health Sciences building fire
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 2065431929
Fax: 2065431931
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access.


Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

At 7:35am on the morning of December 29, 1972, the Seattle Fire Department was contacted by UW Campus Police regarding a two-alarm fire in the new Teaching Wing of the Health Sciences Building, completed only a few months prior at a cost of about $21.5 million. The fire had been started by spontaneous combustion of oily rags and solvent which had been used the night before to clean furniture. Early damage estimates of $30,000 on the day of the fire quickly increased to roughly $300,000 as it was determined that, in addition to mechanical, structural and electrical damage suffered by the building, nearly 3,000 nursing journals were heavily damaged and over 1,000 reserve volumes were destroyed. Additionally, of the 217 desks and study rooms in the wing, about 50 were completely destroyed. Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Twenty-three photographs showing aftermath of fire in the UW Health Sciences Teaching Wing on December 29, 1972. Includes image of oily rags at fire origin that caused the blaze as well as damage to furniture and mechanical, structural and electrical facilities. Also includes fire investigation report, clippings, and other related materials.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Status of creator's copyrights is unknown; restrictions may exist on copying, quotation, or publication. Users are responsible for researching copyright status before use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Fires--Washington (State)--Seattle--Photographs

Corporate Names

  • University of Washington.┬áHealth Sciences Center--Buildings--Fires and fire prevention--Photographs

Form or Genre Terms

  • Drawings (visual works)
  • Photographs
  • Records (Documents)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)