Evanston, IL -- A high-rise fire ignited in Evanston when an invalid resident and guest accidentally started a kitchen fire. Luckily, the building was recently equipped with a retrofit fire sprinkler system.
High-rise building fires can be complex and challenging for firefighters, so when a fire ignited in a high-rise on Sherman Ave, firefighters were relieved fire sprinklers were installed in this building. High-rise fires are out of reach of ground ladders, wind driven, and require tremendous manpower and resources, making them difficult to fight.
On March 12, at 4:30pm, the Evanston Fire Department was called to 1900 Sherman Ave because a fire alarm activated. When they arrived, they learned the fire started from a kitchen fire on the 11th floor. Water was flowing in the stairwell and smoke was visible.
When crews found the fire ignition point, they noticed the fire was already extinguished, thanks to a single fire sprinkler head activation. The people occupying the space were able to escape safely. One resident was treated for smoke inhalation. Three residents were displaced for two days.
Last November, the building was retrofitted with fire sprinklers with the assistance of the Cook County Housing Authority and Evanston Fire Prevention Bureau. "There is no doubt in my mind that the upgrade to the suppression system saved the day for us, but most importantly, the lives of the residents and limited the damage to this property," said Fire Chief Klaiber.
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