|A fire sprinkler system prevented a fire from spreading in the 14th
floor hallway of The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. More than
100 years old, The Pfister is Wisconsin’s most historic hotel.
According to Captain Anthony Wichman, Milwaukee Fire Department,
a member of the housekeeping staff emptied an ashtray in a trashcan
in the housekeeping cart. The cart was in the hallway blocking the
entrance to the room. While the housekeeping staff member cleaned
the bathroom, the fire spread throughout the cart to the hallway
walls. Smoke activated the smoke alarm. The heat from the fire eventually
activated a single sprinkler in the hallway. When firefighters arrived
on the 14th floor, the fire was extinguished by the single sprinkler.
"The sprinkler did what it was supposed to do," Wichman
said. "That cart was filled with towels and combustible cleaning
supplies. That fire had the potential to cause extreme smoke and
heat damage on that floor and probably the floors above and below,"
Wichman said that the fire sprinkler probably saved the staff member’s
life because the burning cart prevented her from being able to exit
"Thirty firefighters responded to that fire alarm," Wichman
said. "We were able to send 20 firefighters back to the station
in minutes because of that sprinkler system. When a building like
that is protected with sprinklers it prevents our firefighters from
being in danger," he said
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