Ponoka RCMP are investigating a small fire that occurred at the Ponoka Provincial Building Wednesday around lunch. Along with police, the Ponoka County East District Fire Department were called to the scene where a blue recycle bin appears to have burst into flames. The building’s fire sprinkler system was set off, which extinguished the fire, and also covered a portion of the main floor. What was left of the bin was moved outside while RCMP investigated. A small amount of water was left on the floor near the sprinkler that went off.
*** FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORTED – NO MEDIA COVERAGE *** On the afternoon of September 13, 2017, the Farmers Branch Fire Department was dispatched to an automatic fire alarm at a 14-story Federal Building located at 4050 Alpha Rd. Upon arrival, smoke was showing on the ninth floor. A full assignment response was initiated. Upon investigation, fire crews identified an oscillating fan and chair on fire in a ninth floor conference room. One sprinkler head activated and extinguished the fire. Fire was determined to be accidental. No injuries occurred.
Nobody was hurt in the fire, which set off alarms at 7:37 p.m. at the 21,000-square-foot building in the 3900 block of Reynolds Road, behind the Lowe’s on Magnolia Avenue, according to a Riverside Fire Department news release. The statement did not say anyone had been arrested.
The fire set off the building’s automatic sprinkler system and it was contained to an “office area,” the news release said. That’s where firefighters found a chair and other items that had been ignited. Firefighters shut off the sprinkler system and removed “large amounts of water from the building,” the news release said.
The Luzerne County human services building on Pennsylvania Avenue was closed Monday after someone threw a “fire bomb” into an office, according to an email to county council members. In the email, council Chairwoman Linda McClosky Houck told fellow members she was informed Children and Youth Executive Director Joanne Van Saun’s office was the one targeted. A fire at the building at approximately 5:37 a.m. Monday was quickly extinguished by the sprinkler system, District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said.
She added the incident is under investigation, and there are several potential leads for persons of interest. She declined to offer further details. “Based on the circumstances, this is an active criminal investigation,” Salavantis said. County Manager C. David Pedri said the building would be reopened today with crisis counselors on site to provide counseling for those who needed it.
Salavantis said it was not known how long the investigation would take, and she declined to provide specifics on how the fire started. The building contains the offices for the county’s Human Services Division, including Children and Youth, drug and alcohol programs, and Mental Health and Developmental Services. The Area Agency on Aging for Luzerne and Wyoming counties is also located there. Pedri said there was never a lapse in coverage during the day. “All emergency calls for the Children and Youth division were diverted to on-call workers,” he said in a news release. State Police and Wilkes-Barre police and firefighters were at the scene along with numerous agents from the Luzerne County Sheriff’s Office.
The building does not open to the public until 8:30 a.m., but Civera said some employees and cafeteria staff were already inside. Park Police attempted to use fire extinguishers and hoses before the sprinklers kicked in, he said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Civera said there were about 75 or 100 cars already in the garage at the time the fire broke out and that employees would be able to retrieve their vehicles Tuesday morning.
Employees and citizens crowded the surrounding sidewalks Tuesday morning as they waited for word on the building. Civera made the call to close the buildings for the day at about 10 a.m., but said the building would re-open Wednesday.
“We want to make sure all the numbers are right, the carbon monoxide level is where it’s supposed to be, the sprinkler systems is intact, so it can accept the public and the employees (Wednesday),” he said. “We just want to make it’s a safe place for tomorrow for the residents and for the employees.”
Upper Darby Mayor Tom Miccozie, who also serves as the county’s director of risk management, said the county does a lot of planning and drills twice a year for just such an emergency. He praised the park police for employing extinguishers as they were trained to do and employees who “acted 100-percent the way they should.”
“The fire company is checking now for carbon monoxide levels throughout the whole complex,” he said. “Cleanup companies are already on scene, they’ll do their work with some aromatic sprays, make sure that all our buildings are safe and then we’ll reopen tomorrow morning.
Responding crews included Media, Rose Tree, Springfield, Aston and emergency medical services. Eddystone also lent a hovercraft to the effort, which was backed up to the garage exit with its fan active in an attempt to clear out smoke. Civera praised the first responders for their quick and professional response to the alarm.
Firefighters have long touted the value of sprinklers for saving lives and preventing property damage, and on Wednesday afternoon Wilmington firefighters got an up close look at just how effective the devices really are.
Fire Chief Rick McClellan said a commercial dryer in the firefighters’ gear and laundry room caught on fire about 5:30 p.m., as firefighters were elsewhere in the public-safety building. He said firefighters were in the kitchen on the second-floor of the public-safety building when they noticed smoke coming from the area where the gear and laundry room and fire apparatus are.
As they went to investigate, they noticed heavy smoke pouring from a 12-inch vent in the roof of the apparatus bay, and arrived downstairs to discover a dryer fire that was contained by a single sprinkler head in the gear/laundry room. “The sprinkler contained it to the area and the contents inside the dryer,” McClellan said. “Here we are with nine guys upstairs and there’s a fire going on and the sprinkler put it out.”
The dryer was a total loss, as were the uniforms that were drying in it, but McClellan said the sprinkler head prevented the blaze from causing any structural damage. Drains in the floor of the laundry/gear room minimized water damage, he said.
All the firefighters had to do was turn the sprinkler off, vent some of the smoke from the fire and clean the floors. “The sprinkler mitigated the whole problem,” McClellan said. “They didn’t even have to bring in a hose line.”
According to Cleveland fire officials, a computer on the fourth floor caught fire at Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s headquarters at 3900 Euclid Avenue just after midnight Monday. The sprinkler system was triggered and contained the fire to the desk where the computer was located near the middle of the building.
Cleveland firefighters said the windows in the building are bolted shut and that delayed them from clearing the smoke. Firefighters used four large fans to ventilate the building once the windows were opened. Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District CEO Julius Ciaccia Jr. said they will be open Monday and the damage was minimal to the area of the fire on the fourth floor. The scene was cleared just before 1:30 a.m.
The 911 dispatch center is located near the evidence room, so workers were moved to the third precinct headquarters to continue handling calls. By 5:30 a.m. Monday, all 911 staff returned to the call center at city hall, with services operating normally.
A gas explosion and fire early Sunday at Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s Canton offices was “held in check by outside master streams and operating sprinkler heads,” Canton fire Chief Charles Doody said.
Doody said firefighters secured vital records and evidence once they were able to stabilize the office building, which shares the Shawmut Industrial Park with the separately housed Norfolk Probate and Family Court.
Doody said the office building’s roof was recently cleared off, leaving gas meters buried “under several feet of snow.” Around 1:50 a.m. yesterday, gas backed into a mechanical room, ignited and exploded, severely damaging a wall shared by the first and second floors.
A sprinkler system helped put out a fire and save county property at the Merrimack County Superior Courthouse in Concord Sunday. The fire is believed to have started in a vending machine on the first floor of the building. A preliminary investigation by the Concord Fire Department, the state fire marshal’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined the fire to have been accidental, according to a press release issued yesterday by the state fire marshal’s office.
The Concord Fire Department was called to 163 N. Main St. at 10:13 a.m. after receiving an alert from an automatic fire alarm. Firefighters arrived on scene at 10:18 a.m. to find smoke in the building and an active sprinkler in a room of vending machines. The building was closed and secure at the time of the fire. Fire Marshal J. William Degnan said the sprinkler system “prevented a much larger fire and loss of county property, as well as reduced the danger to firefighters.”
The fire came two days after another one in a similarly unattended public building, in that case owned by the town of Henniker. The Henniker Highway Department garage, which wasn’t outfitted with a sprinkler system, and several town vehicles were destroyed in that fire, with damage estimated to be about $1 million.