Sprinklers control hotel fire
WASHINGTON-Four sprinklers controlled an unintentional fire
in a large hotel ballroom, limiting damage to the building
and alerting the fire department.
The wood-frame hotel, which measured 200 feet (61 meters)
by 100 feet (30 meters), had a flat, built-up roof supported
by wooden trusses and covered with asphalt and tar. The
unoccupied ballroom was protected by a wet-pipe sprinkler
system, as was the attic above it.
A 911 call from a passerby at 9:56 p.m. alerted firefighters
to a column of smoke coming from the hotel ball-room. The
call was followed shortly afterwards by a call from the
monitoring company, reporting a water flow alarm. Responding
fire crews noted light-colored smoke coming from a corner
of the ballroom roof when they arrived on the scene, and
the incident commander sent a ladder and engine crew to
the roof to locate the source. As firefighters began opening
up the roof near an HVAC unit, interior I crews pulled down
ceilings located the seat of the fire.
Sprinklers in the concealed space were keeping the fire
under control, but attic insulation blocked some of the
water spray, allowing the blaze to continue burning. Eventually,
the entire space was opened from the ceiling to the roof,
and the fire was extinguished.
Investigators determined that the rooftop heating equipment
was involved in the ignition of the hotel's framing materials,
but they couldn't determine the exact ignition sequence.
Damage to the building, valued at approximately $15 million,
was estimated at $100,000. Damage to its contents was estimated
at $60,000. There were no injuries.
Copyright National Fire Protection Association Jan/Feb
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All