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Fire Sprinklers at Work (Spring/Summer 2013 Edition)

May 2013

City of Madison
KJ’s Curry Bowl

Fire sprinklers held a fire in check in the kitchen of the restaurant that was just days away from opening. Firefighters were able to complete the extinguishment within five minutes of their arrival. No one was in the restaurant at the time of the fire.

The building that houses the restaurant contains several other businesses, but only a dental office had some minor smoke damage while the other businesses were unaffected. Damage was estimated at only $20,000.

Lori Wirth
City of Madison Fire Department

April 2013

West Bend
Country Inn & Suites

A single fire sprinkler contained and extinguished a fire that originated with a heating unit under the window and spread to the curtains in one of the hotel rooms. No smoke made it into the hallways so only a light smoke odor was needed to be cleared with positive-pressure fans by the fire department.

West Bend Fire Department news release

Quad Med

One fire sprinkler activated and extinguished the medical center fire that was caused by a ceiling-mounted radiant heater that malfunction. The fire was extinguished before fire crews arrived on scene. It was contained to a 5-foot-diameter area, which limited damage to a cart, some plastic construction material, and the heater itself. Damage was estimated at only $1,000 and no injuries were reported.

“Damage was limited due to the fire sprinkler system activating early and extinguishing the fire,” said a fire department news release. “Fire personnel put heavy emphasis on the importance of sprinkler systems.”

Sussex Fire Department news release

Pinedale Apartments

A single fire sprinkler extinguished a fire in one of the senior living apartment units. There was minor smoke and water damage. The building was safely evacuated with only one occupant requiring medical attention due to non-life-threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported.

Fire crews ventilated the hallway of the building and the unit where the fire occurred and occupants were allowed to go back in the building.

“This is a perfect example of the life-safety benefits of a residential sprinkler system,” said Assistant Chief Gudie. “The single sprinkler quickly activated and extinguished the fire, while at the same time it activated the building’s fire alarm system to notify residents to evacuate.”

Troy Gudie, Assistant Fire Chief
Onalaska Fire Department

March 2013

La Crosse
St. Joseph Nursing Home

The La Crosse Fire Department responded to a monitored fire alarm at the St. Joseph Nursing Home due to a fire in a laundry room. Crews encountered heavy smoke in the hallway leading into the laundry room, but they found that the fire was being controlled by the building’s fire sprinkler system and only needed to provide final extinguishment. The fire appeared to have began in the clothes dryer, burning through and out the dryer’s glass door.

“The heat from the fire activated a fire sprinkler immediately above the dryer, which held the fire in check until we got there. It was a great fire sprinkler save,” said La Crosse Fire Chief Gregg Cleveland.

Gregg Cleveland, Fire Chief
La Crosse Fire Department

City of Madison
Cortland Commons Apartments

Two sprinklers activated just a few feet away from an automobile fire in the basement parking garage of the apartment building, which houses two business and 22 apartment units. Firefighters arrived to extinguish the remaining fire.

Only the car where the fire began and one other car were damaged for a total of $40,000, while the building only suffered light smoke damage. No injuries were reported on the scene.

All occupants were allowed to return to their apartments after a briefly taking shelter in a Madison Metro bus that was called to the scene while the building was ventilated.

City of Madison news release

February 2013

City of Madison
University of Wisconsin Medical Sciences Building

A morning fire in the five-story university building was contained to the fourth floor by the fire sprinkler system. There were a small number of people in the building, but everyone escaped safely without injuries.

Associated Press

City of Madison
Trinity Senior Community

A fire that occurred in the single-story facility was extinguished by the building’s fire sprinkler system before fire crews arrived. There was minimal damage of only $4,500 in property damage and $500 in contents. Everyone was allowed back into the building and no one was injured.

“This is an excellent example of how sprinklers can react quickly to save lives and reduce property damage,” says a news release from the City of Madison.

City of Madison news release

Elizabeth Residence

A kitchen fire occurred in a second-floor unit of the assisted-living facility, but was quickly extinguished by the building’s fire sprinkler system. No injuries were reported.

North Shore Fire Rescue officials noted that the properly functioning fire sprinkler system prevented the fire from spreading , saving lives and further property damage.

Fox Point-Bayside Patch

January 2013

Menomonee Falls
Multifamily Senior Living

At 12:07 p.m., the Menomonee Falls Fire Department was notified of a fire at a multifamily senior living facility by an automatic alarm. Shortly thereafter, the fire department received a 9-1-1 call from the facility indicating a fire in the laundry room. Upon arrival, the responding firefighters noticed smoke in the laundry room and hallway. An automatic alarm was sounding, indicating fire sprinkler activation. One sprinkler activated. According to Chief Jeffrey Hevey, “not only did the fire sprinkler control the fire, but it extinguished it. The sprinkler system did exactly what it was supposed to do.”

Estimated damage is only $15,000 on a $8.8 million building.

A fan motor that had seized up caused the fire, igniting bedding that was along the wall near the fan.

Jeffrey Hevey, Fire Chief
Menomonee Falls Fire Department

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