Ottumwa, IA – Sprinkler system extinguishes kitchen fire in strip mall

A fire alarm and the smell of smoke kicked the Ottumwa Fire Department into action. They arrived at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at 1111 N. Quincy Ave. in Quincy Plaza.

However, a press release from the city says that when firefighters arrived on scene, they found no active fire or smoke being emitted from the structure. Due to the age of the fire suppression system, it didn’t show exactly where the alarm was coming from.

Firefighters used their key system to gain access to the shops of the strip mall in attempts to locate the source of the smoke smell. That’s how they found the source, which was located at the Little Caesars Pizza section of the strip mall.

Yet the fire suppression system was sufficient to extinguish the fire by itself: Firefighters located an active sprinkler head which had suppressed a small fire in the kitchen area of the business.

According to the city statement, the damage to the entire complex would have been much greater without a properly working fire sprinkler system.

The business suffered water, smoke and fire damage.

The cause, the OFD says, looks to have been spontaneous combustion of oily rags kept in a container in the back of the kitchen.

The Ottumwa Fire Department was assisted by the Ottumwa Police Departments dispatchers to gain communications with the building owner and tenants.

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