Sprinklers Limit Damage to Apartment Building

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 12:09am

Automatic fire sprinklers prevented major damage to an apartment building on Madison's west side early this morning. The building at 8211 Plaza Drive contains two businesses and 22 apartments. Two cars were damaged by the fire and the building suffered light smoke damage.

Madison firefighters were called to the scene at 1:55 a.m. When they arrived, fire crews saw smoke coming from the basement parking area's garage door. The parking garage was filled with smoke that had banked down to the floor. Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to help locate the fire.

Once the burning car was located in the smoke, firefighters used hoselines to extinguish the fire. Additional crews searched the building for any trapped or injured residents and used fans to remove smoke from the building.

Two sprinkler heads located within a few feet of the burning car activated and sprayed water on the fire. This controlled the fire and kept it from spreading until firefighters arrived to finish extinguishment.

A Madison Metro bus was called to the scene and provided shelter for the residents who evacuated the building. Once conditions inside were safe, all occupants were allowed to return to their apartments.

The fire caused approximately $40,000 damage to the vehicles and building. The cause of the car fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported at the scene.

Fire sprinklers can save lives and property from fire.

• Sprinklers respond quickly and effectively to fire, often extinguishing the fire before the fire department arrives.
• Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water on the fire.
• Fire sprinklers are environmentally friendly. They can reduce the amount of water run-off and pollution, fire damage by up to 71%, and water usage to fight a home fire by as much as 91%.
• Smoke from burned toast will not activate a fire sprinkler. Only the high temperature of a fire will activate the sprinkler or sprinklers closest to the fire.

  • Eric Dahl, 608-261-9845