Durham, NH – Fire in lab building at University of New Hampshire extinguished by sprinkler system

A small fire occurred on Tuesday at the University of New Hampshire’s Rudman Hall.  According to Dave Emanuel, the assistant fire chief in Durham, the fire occurred in a cleaning room on the third floor.  The call came in at approximately 9 a.m. for fire alarm activation with the alarm panel indicating water flowing in the building.

“The building is predominantly a lab building and on each floor there is a cleaning room with a glass cleaner and an oven for drying,” Emanuel said. “This was an insulation fire in the area of the glass cleaner. The captain had taken the room apart and determined the fire was out. It was declared under control at 9:50 a.m.

The sprinkler system extinguished the fire and because the room has a poly-coated floor for the most part the water was contained to the room. But according to Emanuel, the drain isn’t big enough to handle the flow from the sprinkler so some water did run out into the staircase and there were a few other penetrations between the different floors.

“The most important thing is that everything worked as it should have,” Emanuel said. “UNH invests in fire alarms systems for early notification and suppression — and the system did its job,”  “We used squeegees to move the water toward the stairwells and vacuum it up,” Emanuel said. “We do the best we can for loss prevention.

Due to scope of the cleanup, Durham Fire Department was assisted on scene by Lee, Newmarket, and University Police personnel.  Listen: Latest From the Newsroom. Emanuel said they returned Rudman Hall to normal operations at about 10 a.m. and crews cleared the scene at about 11 a.m. A second call for fire alarm activation and a medical call at about the same time, made for a very busy morning. “We were running in three directions at once,” Emanuel said.

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