VIDEO: Three rescue ambulances transported six or seven personnel from the Northwest Central Dispatch System 9-1-1 Center Saturday afternoon.
Arlington Heights police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 3:19 PM Saturday to an activated fire or smoke alarm at Northwest Central Dispatch System 9-1-1 Center 1975 East Davis Street Arlington Heights, IL. Police and firefighter/paramedics next received a report that some evacuation was taking place
For at least three minutes Northwest Central Dispatch System did not respond to radio traffic from Arlington Heights fire units responding to the scene.
Fire units reported that a police squad car was blocking access to the scene.
Some type of spark in electrical or electronic equipment arced when power was turned on. The spark apparently set off an FM-200 automatic fire extinguishing system.
Firefighters checked on air quality in the center, but did not report any fire or explosion.
Three Arlington Heights rescue ambulances responded to the 911 dispatch center. Six or seven dispatch center personnel were transported to three area hospitals — Northwest Community Hospital, Alexian Brothers Medical Center, and Lutheran General Hospital.
No word on the extent of injuries to the staff members. Police immediately set up a wide perimeter around the 911 center. No vehicle or pedestrian traffic was permitted to travel east on Davis Street from Arthur Avenue. Mount Prospect police also responded to the scene.
The 9-1-1 center switched to a backup method, which may have caused minor delays for a short time. Elk Grove Village dispatched there own calls out of fire stations for a short time period.
The 911 center is undergoing renovation, but it was not immediately known if the renovation was directly connected to the incident that activated the fire suppression system.
FM 200 extinguishes fires with an inert gas Heptafluropropane, which is commonly used in facilities that include server rooms, telecommunications rooms housing delicate electronics equipment, rooms housing medical equipment and mechanical rooms where water from sprinklers would cause expensive damage.
According to the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet, Heptafluropropane is known to cause irritation or minor residual injury upon exposure.
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