Sprinklers Praised for Halting Illinois Assisted Living Fire

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Dec. 27--BLOOMINGTON -- A fire sprinkler system is being credited with extinguishing a Christmas Eve fire even before firefighters arrived.

Bloomington Fire Department Public Information Officer Brad McCollum said that at 7:43 p.m. Tuesday, firefighters responded to the third floor of The Downtowner, a 36-unit, eight-story, assisted-living apartment building at 109 E. Market St., and found the apartment's resident in a hallway that was filled with light smoke.

"Upon entering the apartment, they found an overstuffed chair and end table that had sustained damage from a fire that had been completely extinguished by the sprinkler system," McCollum said in a news release.

The resident was transported to the hospital as a precaution, he said.

McCollum said the outcome could have been tragic for the resident if not for the effectiveness of the sprinkler system. The fire could also have been devastating to other residents and the building's owners, he added.

"The capability of a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system to contain the spread of fire and in many cases such as this, extinguish the blaze before first responders even arrive on the scene is the reason that so many important structures have these life- and property-saving systems," he said. "Apartment buildings like The Downtowner are not the only types of structures that can and do benefit from these systems. Places of worship, places of business, and most importantly the places that you call home can all be protected by a fire sprinkler system. I encourage you all to learn how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from the ravages of fire."

Copyright 2013 - The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

Story provided by:  firehouse.com