Automatic Sprinkler Stop Fire in 5th Floor Condo on Smith Street Near Colfax St, Palatine

Palatine Fire Department responded at 2:43 p.m. Thursday March 14, 2019 to a report of a fire at 235 North Smith Street in Palatine. The first Palatine Fire Department crews arrived on the scene at 2:48 p.m. and were told by the resident that there was a fire in unit 508. Fire department crews made access to the fifth floor and found smoke and water in the hallway. Upon entering the unit fire crews found that an automatic fire sprinkler system had activated, and had completely extinguished the fire. Early reports indicated the fire may have started in a walk in closet. There was limited damage to the master bedroom, closet, and bathroom, according to Palatine Fire Department. Firefighters led out a supply line to a nearby hydrant while other firefighters performed support functions. The fire was declared under control at 2:55 p.m. Firefighters continued to perform salvage, overhaul, and investigative activities into later that afternoon.

No civilians or firefighters were injured in the fire which was contained to the condominium’s master bedroom, bathroom, and closet. Damage estimates were not initially available. The cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental in nature.

The emergency response brought forty-five firefighters, staffing six engines, four ladder trucks, five ambulances, and one rescue squad to the scene. Also, three command officers and two fire investigators responded from the Palatine Fire Department.

Fire units from the Palatine Rural, Arlington Heights, Barrington, Buffalo Grove, and Hoffman Estates Fire Departments were among the initial responders to the scene as part of an automatic aid agreement. An ambulance from the Long Grove Fire Protection District stood by in a Palatine Fire Station to assist with additional calls during this incident. Palatine Police officers assisted residents at the scene and provided traffic control.

Palatine reminded the public that automatic fire sprinklers are highly effective and reliable elements of a total fire protection system. When fire sprinklers are present, fires were kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time (U.S. Experience with Sprinklers, NFPA report, 2017). Palatine Fire Department said that Thursday’s fire is an excellent example of automatic fire sprinkler effectiveness.

With their total concern for their service community, the Palatine Fire Department also wrote to remind everyone that working smoke alarms save lives, recommending that smoke alarms are tested monthly and should be replaced when they 10 years-old. For more information on fire safety visit www.palatine.il.us or www.NFPA.org.

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