Bedford Park Warehouse Fire Case Study

warehouse fire protection

Contributor:  Gavin Hansen,  Vice President of F.E. Moran Fire Protection, Northern Illinois
Writer:  Sarah Block, Marketing Director at The Moran Group

In the small town of Bedford Park, Illinois, 580 people live amongst sprawling industrial properties. While the residents of Bedford Park were sleeping, a welder was doing maintenance on a semi-trailer at a local large commercial warehouse in the early morning hours. What happened next, no one would have expected.

Industrial Community Expands

In 2013, a rambling commercial warehouse was just going up in Bedford Park. F.E. Moran Fire Protection National (FPS) was brought on board to design and install the fire protection system. FPS then brought in F.E. Moran Fire Protection Northern Illinois (FPN) to man the project.

Warehouses should always be protected with fire sprinklers. In the five year period between 2007- 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 6,350 warehouse fires that caused $188 million dollars in direct property damage per year. Each year also saw an average of 23 civilian injuries and 4 civilian deaths.

The Bedford Park warehouse had a properly designed and installed fire protection system installed to reduce their risk if a fire were to occur. The project went seamlessly and was turned over to the property owner in the summer of 2014.


Semi-trailer Engulfed in Flames

Six months later, on January 24, 2015, maintenance was being done on a semi-trailer in the early morning hours. A welder was being used on the semi-trailer and a small fire ignited. The fire quickly grew and engulfed the semi-trailer.

Fire Sprinkler "Works like a Champion"

The fire activated 12 fire sprinkler heads and extinguished the fire before fire crews even arrived. The Bedford Park Fire Department said, "It worked like a champion."

FPN arrived quickly to the scene and replaced 36 sprinkler heads, bringing the fire sprinklers back online within 8 hours. One thing that properties need to keep in mind is flair ups often happen after fires, and if the fire sprinklers are offline more than necessary after activating from the original fire, it could result in catastrophe. Bringing fire sprinklers back online quickly is of the essence. Gavin Hansen, Service and Inspection Manager, said, "The fire department and owner were extremely impressed with the quick extinguishment of the fire. They were extremely happy with the operation and the quick services of F.E. Moran to get the system back in service the same day."

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