A fire at a Grove Street apartment Sunday was much different from one that occurred there nearly 16 years ago because of the sprinkler system that was installed, said the city’s fire chief. At around 5:25 p.m. Sunday, the department was dispatched to the apartment building on 71 Grove St. And by the time the firefighters got the hose up to the second floor for the cooking fire, it was extinguished by the sprinkler system. The sprinkler system was added when the building was rehabilitated after the fire because of changes in the city’s fire code, Hagman said.
The fire on April 1, 2002, started in a second-floor apartment, like the one on Sunday. However, unlike Sunday’s fire, the 2002 one required rescuing two people from the apartment, said Chief Eric Hagman. Current Assistant Fire Chief Paul Haas was a firefighter then and a part of that rescue, he said. The fire began in the kitchen where residents were getting ready to fry food when the oil got too hot and ignited, Hagman said. The fire spread to the kitchen cabinets but when the heat sensing sprinkler system activated, the fire was soon extinguished, Hagman said.
He said the residents, while they could have stayed at the apartment last night, went elsewhere for the night. The apartment below experienced some water damage. However, Hagman said that is much different than having to relocate all the residents in the building because of a fire, which occurred in the 2002 fire.
“That’s the benefit of having a code required sprinkler system,” he said. “There was no need for rescues and people got to stay in their apartments. It was a real good outcome.”