Yuma, Arizona - On Friday, July 28th, 2017, around 5:40 pm, the Yuma Fire Department was alerted to a fire at the San Carlos Hotel, 106 E. 1st Street. Arriving firefighters found that a cardboard box was left on top of a stove inside one of the apartments, and accidentally ignited by the stove. A fire sprinkler head in the kitchen of the apartment automatically activated from the radiant heat, and extinguished the fire. Firefighters ensured the fire was completely out, and assisted with cleanup. There were no injuries, and fire damage was limited to the cardboard box on top of the stove and cabinet above.
Just seven hours later, at about 11:40 pm, the Yuma Fire Department was alerted to a fire at Fruit Growers Supply (FGS), 4136 E. 32nd Street. Arriving firefighters found a pallet of cardboard shipping boxes in the warehouse (approx. 20’above the floor) had been placed too close to a light fixture and had ignited. One fire sprinkler had automatically activated from radiant heat, and suppressed the fire long enough for firefighters to arrive. This limited fire extension to just one neighboring pallet of cardboard shipping boxes and some additional damage to ceiling above. Firefighters fully extinguished the fire, and ventilated the smoke from the warehouse.
In each of these situations, fire sprinklers significantly limited the amount of fire damage to contents within the areas of origin, and saved the buildings from any structural fire damage. It is estimated that the amount of physical property saved by fire sprinklers in these two fires alone exceeds six million dollars.
Fire sprinkler systems can keep fires from spreading and can also extinguish them. Fire spreads quickly and can double in size every minute. Even small fires can cause significant damage to property and endanger those nearby. Contrary to many Hollywood portrayals, only sprinkler heads directly exposed to the heat are activated, not those in the rest of the room, building, or complex.
Sprinkler systems save lives and protect property!