Ipswich, MA – Sprinkler system activated for car fire at car museum

A close call for the owner of some classic cars in Ipswich after a fire broke out at a storage facility.

Police credit a working sprinkler system with stopping a small fire that started in a Lamborghini from getting much larger and spreading to other cars in the facility, including the one parked right next to it, a 1954 “mint” condition Cadillac.

The alarm came in on Saturday at around noon for firefighters to respond to Clam Town Classics on Old Right Road.

“On arrival, they found heavy smoke coming from a unit housing a number of classic cars,” according to a post from Ipswich Public Safety.

“The source of the smoke was a 1972 Lamborghini, where a fire had started under the hood,” according to investigators. “Heat from the blaze had activated three sprinkler heads above the car, containing the fire to its point of origin.”

Chief Paul Parisi credited crews with “quick and decisive work” and said the sprinkler system prevented what could have been a massive and very costly fire.  The mint-condition Cadillac was not damaged.

“Usually you only have one or two sprinkler heads activated. The fact that three sprinkler heads went off tells you just how much heat there was, yet the fire was contained only to the engine compartment,” Chief Parisi said. “The sprinkler system did just what it’s designed to do. Without it, the property loss would have been much more significant.”

The chief said the sprinklers saved hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property.

“As a business owner watching the bottom line, I didn’t care too much for sprinklers.”  said the owner of Clam Town Classics, George Delaney. “Now I’ve done a 180. After seeing the difference they make, I’m a big fan.”