Fire sprinkler systems were able to contain fires at two different retirement communities in lower Bucks County this week.
The first fire occurred at a retirement apartment complex in Middletown Township on Monday, July 6th. The fire started in an apartment when a resident turned a stove on with a plastic toaster on top of it. It quickly spread up a wall and to the ceiling. The sprinkler system reacted and contained the fire, allowing all residents of the four-story building to evacuate successfully. The Langhorne-Middletown Fire Company was promptly on the scene and was eventually assisted by the Middletown Township Department of Fire and Emergency Management, Parkland Fire Company, Penndel Fire Company, Newtown Fire and Emergency Services, and the William Penn Fire Company.
The fire, which started at 1:27 p.m., was declared under control by 1:43 p.m. Langhorne-Middletown Fire Company Chief Farry said the fire was largely held in check by the sprinkler system. No injuries were reported.
The second sprinkler save this week occurred on Thursday morning at a 55-plus condominium in Bristol Township. Unlike Monday’s fire, which started in the kitchen, this fire began from a washing machine on the third floor of the building. Fire Marshal Kevin Dippolito reported that the sprinkler system reacted and successfully contained the fire to the laundry closet. No injuries were reported on the scene.
Residents of all but one of the condos were able to return to their homes within a few hours thanks to the reaction of the sprinkler system and the effectiveness of the responding fire companies from around Bristol Township as well as the Bucks County Rescue Squad.
Fire sprinklers play an important role in all types of buildings but are especially critical when the occupants may have mobility issues, as is the case in many retirement communities. Older individuals may not be able to evacuate a building as quickly, and fire sprinklers buy them extra time to do so.
Fire sprinklers are also crucial in keeping first responders safe while they are on the scene. With sprinklers containing the fire, first responders are given more time to ensure that the area is fully evacuated. They also have an easier time extinguishing the fire since the sprinkler system keeps it from growing.
The NFSA PenJerDel Chapter is pleased to report on both of these successful sprinkler saves and would like to thank all the fire departments that not only responded to these calls but included the sprinklers in their reports. The NFSA remains committed to keeping communities safe from the threat of fire and cannot achieve its mission without the help of first responders.
If you would like to know more about how fire sprinklers can help keep your community safe, contact the NFSA PenJerDel Chapter today.