Apartment Fire Contained to Bathroom by Activated Sprinkler System on Sterling Ave, Palatine

Palatine police and firefighters responded at 12:40 a.m. Saturday, February 29, 2020 to an activated fire alarm in an apartment building at 1145 North Sterling Avenue in Palatine. While en route, the call was upgraded to a ‘reported fire call’ due to the report of smoke in unit 219. The first Palatine Fire Department crews arrived on the scene at 12:47 a.m.

Fire department crews made access into the unit and found moderate smoke and two sprinkler heads activated in a bathroom which had extinguished the fire. Simultaneously, crews evacuated adjoining units and checked for any extension of the fire; no fire extension was found and crews shut down the sprinkler system to stop the flow of water. The fire was declared under control at 12:53.

The fire damage was limited to a bathroom in unit 219, with moderate water damage to the unit below. Firefighters continued to perform ventilation, overhaul, and investigative activities for some time after that.

No civilians or firefighters were injured in the fire which was contained to the apartment’s bathroom area. One resident of the fire unit was assessed for smoke inhalation and released. Damage estimates are not available at the time of this release. The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time.

The emergency response brought nineteen firefighters staffing three engines, one aerial device, two ambulances, and one rescue squad which responded to the scene along with one command officer. Palatine Police officers assisted residents at the scene and provided traffic control.

At this fire, the fire sprinkler system quickly extinguished the fire, leaving only two of the forty units in the building uninhabitable. Automatic fire sprinklers are highly effective and reliable elements of a total fire protection system. This fire is an excellent example of automatic fire sprinkler effectiveness.

According to Palatine Fire Department, when fire sprinklers were present, fires were kept to the room of origin 97 percent of the time (U.S. Experience with Sprinklers, NFPA report, 2017).

In addition, the Palatine Fire Department reminds everyone that working smoke alarms save lives, and that smoke alarms should be tested monthly. Smoke detectors should be less than 10 years-old, and replaced when they reach 10 years of service.

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