Automated Sprinklers Stop Fire, Prevent Major Damage

Posted at: 09/03/2013 6:59 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- The Rochester Fire Department says an apartment fire over the weekend could have been much worse. They say the buildings sprinkler system saved the day.

Stacy Neal has lived in the 3rd Street loft Apartments for 5 years. She knew something was wrong when water started gushing into her apartment.

"It came through the vents in the bathroom and then through one part of the ceiling," said Neal.

Thankfully the water was the only damage Neal had to deal with.

"At first I didn't know, I ran upstairs and pounded on the neighbors door, then I called 9-1-1 and they were already on the way," said Neal.

The Rochester Fire Department was alerted that apartment buildings sprinkler system was going off just before four o'clock Sunday afternoon.

"There was damage inside the apartments from what started as a stove type fire," said Rochester Fire Marshal Larry Mueller.

The resident on the second floor had left something on the stove and then left the apartment.

"This was a great save, had the sprinkler not been installed in the structure the fire would have rapidly grown and caused extensive damage to the structure," said Mueller.

The sprinkler system didn't just save the building, it’s also behind the fast response from the fire department.

"Any activation from a sprinkler in the city of Rochester is monitored, once it activates a call goes to 9-1-1 and we send our trucks and respond accordingly," said Mueller.

While the sprinkler system did leave a bit of a mess for Neal to clean-up.

"Right now I'm just cleaning up my apartment what's still what wet and what needs to be washed," said Neal.

She knows she may not have had a place to live without it.

"Yes, it could have been a lot worse," said Neal.

The damage to the apartment unit is estimated to be over five thousand dollars. Due to the smoke and water damage the resident that lived in the apartment has been displaced.