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A four-year-old playing with matches Saturday morning was saved by an automatic sprinkler system and working smoke detectors, fire officials said.
Authorities said fire crews were called to the 200 block of Winterborn Lane in Salisbury, Maryland, just before 8:30 a.m. for a report of a fire in a two-story five unit apartment building. When firefighters from the Salisbury Fire Department and the Fruitland Volunteer Fire Company arrived they found the fire was already extinguished in the child's bedroom.
Fire Marshals investigating the scene concluded that the child had been playing with matches and set a bed on fire. Working smoke alarms alerted the parents to the blaze and they were able to escape with the child and warn neighbors. A sprinkler in the child's bedroom put out the fire.
Sprinklers and smoke alarms have been required in apartments and other multi-unit buildings for over 20 years. "This is yet another example of the effectiveness of automatic fire sprinklers in residential occupancies. The presence of not only sprinklers but working smoke alarms and a home escape plan undoubtedly prevented a more tragic outcome," stated William E. Barnard, Maryland State Fire Marshal.
Tags: residential fire sprinklers, apartment fire protection, high-rise fire protection