Topeka, KS – Sprinkler system keeps senior high rise fire under control until firefighters arrive

Residents of a west Topeka senior high-rise apartment building were awakened by the sound of smoke alarms early Wednesday after a trash fire inside their building, authorities said.  The residents either made it outside safely or sheltered in place as Topeka Fire Department crews extinguished the blaze.

Authorities said the fire was reported shortly after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Plaza West Apartments, a seven-story building at 5620 S.W. 22nd.  Upon their arrival, firefighters found light smoke on the first-floor of the building.  Crews searched and found a small fire in a trash bin. Officials said the bin was located in the trash room of the complex.

Topeka Fire Department officials said the sprinkler system activated properly and kept the fire under control until firefighters could arrive.  Firefighters then removed the trash bin from the building and finished extinguishing the blaze.

Damage was confined to the trash bin and the surrounding trash-chute system. A Topeka Fire Department investigator responded to the scene to determine the origin and cause of the fire. A preliminary investigation indicated the cause of the fire was undetermined, pending further investigation.

The estimated dollar loss was $500 to the structure. There was no content loss. Three engine companies, two truck Companies, two battalion chiefs and an investigator responded to the incident. No injuries were reported.

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