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A fire ignited on the first-base concourse on January 3 at the Fifth Third Ballpark. The fire sprinklers malfunctioned, and, in addition, firefighters could not access all the water that they needed. The blaze grew rapidly and caused significant damage.
With opening day coming up, the Fifth Third Ballpark is making some much needed changes to their fire protection system.
- Standpipes, where firefighters can hook hoses into the stadium's fire-suppression system, have been installed.
- Part of the stadiums fire suppression has been rebuilt.
- Additional fire hydrants will be encircling the stadium.
Fire Chief Dave peterson said, "What played into what was lost was the fact there weren't standpipes. Anytime we fight a fire, time is really the most important thing. The longer the fire burns the greater it gets in size and the bigger it gets the faster it burns."
"[Standpipes] will allow us to get hoses into the park quicker and allow us to fight fire from inside. In this case, we weren't able to do that. We had to drag hose up the front steps into the building, up the stairs and then down the hallway in order to get to where the fire was burning. That's time consuming because that much hose isn't pre-connected. The fire got a good start."