RCFD Responds to Fire in Apartment Building
Single sprinkler head activates, spares building from significant damage
Rapid City, S.D. – A Rapid City apartment building is spared significant damage after a late morning fire was snuffed out by the buildings fire sprinkler system. Just after 11 am this morning, Pennington County 9-1-1 dispatched Engine 6 to a report of an automatic fire alarm at 2880 Belgarde Boulevard in the Stoney Creek Highlands complex. Moments later, a caller reported a fire in the bathroom of one occupancy and additional units from Stations 1, 4, and 5 were dispatched.
|Above: Engine 6 on scene at 2880 Belgarde Blvd. earlier today.|
When units arrived, the fire was mostly extinguished by a single sprinkler head from the fire sprinkler system. Building maintenance was already on scene and worked with Rapid City Fire Department crews to quickly stop the flowing water. Remaining hot spots were completely extinguished with less than 2 ½ gallons of water from a Rapid City Fire Department fire extinguisher.
One occupant of the apartment was evaluated by Rapid City Fire Department Paramedics for minor burns. The individual refused treatment or transport and was released.
|Above: One individual was evaluated by RCFD Paramedics for minor burns. That individual refused treatment and transport.|
Rapid City Firefighters assisted building maintenance with initial water removal. The property was turned back over to building maintenance and management a little over an hour after the initial alarm was called in. According to maintenance, tenants of two of the building occupancies will be temporarily displaced in order to complete water removal and maintenance.
This incident is a clear illustration of why the Rapid City Fire Department advocates for fire sprinkler protection. The building in which the fire occurred today has a total of 17 individual apartments. A number of those apartments are occupied by individuals with mobility challenges. Fire sprinklers are the single most effective means to prevent death and injury from a fire. Sprinklers are especially important for those who cannot escape without assistance, those who may not hear the alarm when sleeping, or those with synthetic furnishings (foam, pressboard, plastic, nylon) in their home.
The time to flashover in today's homes has been dramatically reduced due to lightweight construction materials, open room designs, and carpeting and furnishings made of synthetic materials that burn hotter and faster than those in older homes. Those factors have combined to reduce the amount of time that an occupant has to escape from a burning home.
Today, the fire was largely extinguished before the arrival of the first fire engine. Instead of a lengthy rescue, suppression, salvage and overhaul operation, crews were able to work with building maintenance to quickly stop the flowing water and begin to address salvage operations. While it is unfortunate that occupants of two apartments will be temporarily displaced, tenants of 15 other apartments will be able to remain in their homes. Had a larger fire occurred, this likely would not be the case.
To learn more about fire sprinkler protection, please visit our website by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/2BtPPy5.
For questions or comment related to this release, please contact Lt. Jim Bussell, Public Information Officer for the Rapid City Fire Department, at (605)-394-4180.