Bath, ME – Sprinkler system activated at apartment building for elderly and disabled

Residents escaped safely from Seacliff Apartments, which provides housing for the elderly and disabled, when a fire broke out at one of the apartments at 47 Floral St. Sunday morning.

The fire was reported at 10:17 a.m. and drew firefighters from multiple communities. The building is owned by Bath Housing.

“The guys made a tremendous stop,” said Bath Fire Chief Lawrence Renaud.

The six-member crew on duty was able to extinguish the flames and upward of 50 firefighters quickly responded from Bath and the neighboring towns including Brunswick, West Bath, Woolwich, Phippsburg and Topsham.

The building houses 36 single bedroom apartment units and four two-bedroom apartments, according to the Bath Housing Authority’s website.

Given the time of the day and type of structure, there was concern the tenant was inside the apartment when the fire broke out, but Renaud said the person was located elsewhere.

“The sprinkler system in the hallways did activate so I think that was in our favor as well,” Renaud said. “I can’t advocate enough about sprinkler systems. They do save property and lives.”

A second floor apartment had a window open above the ground-floor apartment where flames were shooting from the window, causing smoke damage.

For the most part, there doesn’t seem to be any structural damage to the second floor, Renaud said. There are at least six units with water damage on the first floor and two with smoke damage on the second floor that are uninhabitable. The cause and origin of the fire haven’t been determined.

“It’s a coordinated effort,” he said.The American Red Cross was called to assist residents who may have been displaced by the fire. Bath Housing staff also responded because they know the building and their clientele.

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