On February 18, 2012, at approximately 8:30 a.m., a fire occurred at Mount Si Transitional Health Center in North Bend, Washington. A single sprinkler head activated and contained the fire until the fire department arrived. Quick acting staff protected residents from the deadly effects of smoke inhalation.
The fire occurred in a dryer in a laundry room. A sprinkler head activated which in turn activated the fire alarm system. The fire alarm system notified the fire department and alerted staff and residents to the fire. Staff acted quickly and evacuated the residents to a safe area in another smoke compartment of the building. The fire department arrived and finished extinguishing the fire and ventilated smoke from the building.
The fire and life safety system worked as designed and contained the fire to the room of origin. There was minimal damage to the dryers and laundry area.
Knowing what to do in a fire emergency is critical. Staff at Mt. Si knew what to do because they participated in regularly scheduled fire drills. They knew that they needed to protect residents from deadly smoke and gasses produced during a fire. They evacuated them to an area with special features to prevent smoke from entering. This protected staff and residents from the toxic effects of fire.
State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy reports “Knowing what to do in a fire emergency is key to keeping everyone safe. Fortunately, the activation of the fire sprinkler and alarm systems notified emergency responders without delay. The quick action of Mt Si staff protected the residents from harm.”
For additional information on residential fire sprinkler systems, please visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition web site or contact your local fire department.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, and training Washington State’s firefighters.