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Press Releases

2017

None available at this time.

2016

Devastating, Off-Campus Apartment Complex Fire in Whitewater Brings Up Question of Fire Safety

November 10, 2016 – When a fire tore through the off-campus University Garden Apartments in Whitewater last night, some residents were forced to risk injury and jump out of second-story windows. Fortunately, everyone escaped unharmed but now the entire building has been closed and the living arrangements of hundreds of residents, many of whom are UW – Whitewater students, are now uncertain. “This devastating result certainly would not have occurred had there been fire sprinkler protection in the building as there are in new construction multifamily buildings,” says NFSA-WI’s Marty King,

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Record of Success: Fire Sprinklers Save Fond du Lac’s Mercury Marine for Third Time in Three Years

April 28, 2016 – Last night, the fire sprinkler system at Fond du Lac marine propulsion manufacturer, Mercury Marine, continued its record of success in suppressing fires by controlling a fire in a dust collector until fire crews arrived. No one was injured in the fire. According to NFSA-WI records, this was the third time in three years that the fire sprinkler system prevented a potentially devastating and costly fire for the business.

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Fire Sprinkler System Extinguishes Fire at Madison’s Tommy Thompson Commerce Center

April 1, 2016 – The NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative has awarded the Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition a $10,000 Bringing Safety Home Grant to further the acceptance of fire sprinklers in Wisconsin’s new homes.  The Coalition will use the grant to initiate an extensive campaign promoting home fire sprinklers to residents and the state’s decision makers. “Educating homebuyers, community leaders, real estate agents, homebuilders and nonprofit organizations is the single most powerful tool we have to illustrate the life safety and economic benefits of automatic fire sprinklers ” says Chief Gregg Cleveland, chair of the Wisconsin Fire Sprinkler Coalition.

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2015

Fire Sprinkler System Extinguishes Fire at Madison’s Tommy Thompson Commerce Center

October 22, 2015 – Due to the quick response of a fire sprinkler system, no one was hurt in an overnight fire on October 21 in the underground parking garage of the Tommy Thompson Commerce Center in Madison. The sprinkler system extinguished the fire, which began when a power line shorted out in a storage room, and prevented the fire from spreading and causing major damage. The fire sprinkler save at the underground parking garage greatly contrasts the unsprinklered fire at Madison’s GEF-1 state government building in May 2014. The GEF-1 fire caused approximately $15 million in damage and displaced workers as the building was closed for three months of restoration.

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Wisconsin Burn Survivor’s Story and Fire Sprinkler Advocacy Earn Award from Wisconsin Broadcasting Association

May 7, 2015 – On May 2, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association announced that a public service announcement featuring burn survivor Jeff Jordan won the organization’s “Best PSA for Large Market Radio” as part of its 2014 Awards for Excellence. The PSA, which was created by NFSA-WI and produced by 620 WTMJ-AM radio in Milwaukee, featured Jordan’s story as a burn survivor and fire sprinkler advocate.

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2014

Injuries to Firefighter and Civilians in Racine House Fire Reveal Shortfalls of Fire & Building Codes

July 30, 2014 – An electrical failure in a bedroom wall outlet of a Racine home was the suspected cause of a fire that caused injuries to three adults and one firefighter. The adult residents suffered from minor burns and/or smoke inhalation, while the firefighter was treated for a head laceration due to falling glass. There was an estimated $40,000 in damage to the home and $5,000 in damage to its contents. “Unfortunately, older homes such as where this fire occurred are not required to be protected with fire sprinklers,” says NFSA-WI’s Dan Gengler. “But the bigger issue is that Wisconsin has failed to adopt the latest national model building codes that include requirements for fire sprinklers in new construction homes.”

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Fire Sprinklers Could Have Prevented Substantial Smoke Damage in Oconto High School Fire

April 21, 2014 – Last Wednesday morning, a fire occurred in the 1960s-era Oconto High School causing substantial smoke and fire damage. The fire occurred in a bathroom as students were between classes, but no one was injured. According to Oconto Fire Chief Jack Mlnarik, there are no fire sprinklers in the building and there were also no smoke alarms present in the bathroom. NFSA-WI’s Dan Gengler says the lack of fire sprinkler protection in the building put occupants at risk of injury or even death from smoke inhalation.

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UW-Whitewater Sorority Was in Process of Installing Fire Sprinkler System When Fire Occurred

March 14, 2014 – This morning, a fire at the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority house at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater campus displaced 23 students. The sorority was in the process of retrofitting a fire sprinkler system in the house and the system was not yet operational. State law has required all Greek housing to be equipped with fire sprinkler systems since January 1, 2014, but the sorority had fallen behind the deadline.

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Ashwaubenon Apartment Fire Displaces Dozens, Highlights Importance of Wisconsin’s Fire Sprinkler Requirements for New Multifamily Dwellings

March 14, 2014 – Early yesterday morning, 30 people were displaced when a fire broke out in the unsprinklered Creekwood Apartments building in Ashwaubenon. By the time the fire was put out by firefighters, one-quarter of the living units were damaged. While no one was hurt, the fire is a harsh reminder of the lack of fire protection in many older multifamily dwellings, such as where this fire occurred, across the state. That’s why the state of Wisconsin has required the installation of fire sprinklers in all new construction multifamily dwellings of three units and greater since January 1, 2011.

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NFSA-WI Urges Racine School Board to Include Fire Sprinklers in Renovation of Fire-Ravaged Mitchell Elementary School

March 4, 2014 – Last Thursday, an overnight fire at Mitchell Elementary School in Racine caused the roof to collapse; now students will be bused to another location indefinitely. According to fire officials, fire sprinklers were present in portions of the building, but not where the fire occurred. “Now is the time to retrofit a complete fire sprinkler system, as it will save money during this stage of renovation. The school board should make sure the entire building is safe, with equal fire protection for all occupants,” says NFSA-WI’s Dan Gengler.

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Preventing Fire Sprinkler System Freeze-Ups as Another Arctic Blast Arrives in Wisconsin

January 24, 2014 – The cold temperatures are upon us. Fire prevention bureaus and building departments can save their communities money in repairs and water damage by reminding local residents and businesses to simply check to be sure their fire sprinkler systems are protected for the colder weather temperatures, especially below freezing.

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2013

Fatality in Madison Apartment Fire Highlights Neighboring Town’s Fire Sprinkler Ordinance

October 18, 2013 – On October 16, a fire in the unsprinklered Riverwood Apartments building in the City of Madison claimed the life of one middle-aged male. The tragic event is an unfortunate reminder of the lack of fire sprinkler protection in older multifamily dwellings throughout Wisconsin, but also highlights the neighboring Town of Madison’s actions to prevent fire deaths in its older multifamily dwellings.

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Fire Prevention Week: Recent Fires in Wisconsin Highlight Importance of State’s Fire Sprinkler Requirements for New Multifamily Dwellings

October 10, 2013 – Over the month leading up to National Fire Prevention Week (October 6-12), numerous Wisconsin fires occurring occurring in older multifamily dwellings not protected with fire sprinklers have left dozens of occupants displaced and communities, such as Madison, La Crosse, Salem and Janesville, rallying to provide occupants with everyday necessities and shelter.

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While Fire Hydrant Failed, Home Fire Sprinklers Could Have Prevented Fire Death in Ashland

May 14, 2013 – A fire hydrant failed while fire crews were on scene to battle an early morning house fire in the City of Ashland on May 12, that claimed the life of one person. The fire hydrant was plugged with metal debris that kept it from functioning properly, so firefighters had to use valuable time to ready another fire hydrant. Just a few seconds can make the difference in an occupant surviving a home fire, which is why fire sprinklers could have saved a life had they been present.

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Tragic Duplex Fire in West Allis Highlights Need for Home Fire Sprinklers

March 18, 2013 – A fire in an unsprinklered duplex home in the City of West Allis during the early morning hours on March 17, claimed the life of two 14-year-old boys. The fire grew so quickly that it caused the ceiling to collapse on them. Another two boys, ages four and thirteen, escaped but are recovering from burn injuries. The fatalities mark the 12th and 13th residential fire fatalities and the third multiple-fatality residential fire in Wisconsin this year.

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Radio PSAs

If you had the power to prevent fire injuries and deaths, wouldn’t you use it?

Wisconsin burn survivor, Jeff Jordan, speaks about his experience as a burn survivor and fire sprinkler advocate. Originally produced by WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee, the PSA earned the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’ “Best PSA for Large Market Radio” award at the organization’s 2014 Awards for Excellence. Listen below.

 

Photography

None available at this time.

 

Videos

None available at this time.