Courtesy of St. Francis Fire Department:
During the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day 2016, a fire broke out on the third-floor balcony of a 36-unit apartment building. The fire began to grow in size until the sprinkler system activated.
The St. Francis Fire Department responded along with law enforcement. When law enforcement arrived and entered the apartment unit, the officer confirmed the fire was outside on the balcony and the fire sprinkler was operating.
Fire department crews arrived and completed extinguishment keeping damage contained to the contents on the balcony and siding. The fire did not affect any other apartment units.
The building was evacuated for a short time but soon after residents were allowed back into their apartments. No injuries were reported.
In September of 2012, this same complex suffered a large-dollar-loss fire originating on the opposite end of the structure on the balcony. The fire raced up the exterior, through the soffit and into the attic. At that time, the complex was not sprinklered. However, following the fire, the reconstruction met the criteria threshold and fire sprinklers were required when it was rebuilt.
There is no doubt that having a fire sprinkler system installed in the complex saved lives and the property of the residents.