Kennewick fire officials are praising a sprinkler system for preventing a possible tragedy at a rehabilitation and nursing center early Tuesday. About 30 residents were at the facility at 2 a.m. Tuesday when a fire ignited in the attic of the Regency Canyon Lakes Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Ely Street. Fire Chief Chad Michael said the fire sent a light amount of smoke through the building. Firefighters arrived within four minutes of being called and discovered where the fire started.
A heating and ventilation system is suspected of causing the fire. “Fortunately, the attic space is fully sprinklered and a single sprinkler head contained the fire until fire crews arrived on the scene,” said the release.
All the physical, occupational and speech therapy patients living at the center and staff members were able to remain sheltered in the building, though firefighters helped move 12 patients to different rooms. Michael pointed out that sprinklers reduce fire-related deaths by 87% and injuries by 27%, according to the National Fire Protection Association.