Rapid City, SD – Kitchen fire at elementary school extinguished by fire sprinkler system; No injuries reported

The Rapid City Fire Department was called to General Beadle Elementary located at 10 Van Buren Street for an automatic fire alarm around noon today.

As the crew from Truck 1 was arriving on scene, Pennington County 9-1-1 dispatch advised that a caller was reporting an active fire in the kitchen. A full first alarm was called that included additional units from Station 1 as well as Stations 3 and 7.

When Truck 1 was inside, they found that there had been a fire on the stove in the kitchen. The fire had been extinguished by the commercial hood system as well as a single sprinkler head from the fire sprinkler system.

The full first alarm system was canceled while Truck 1 remained on-scene.

The building was occupied at the time of the fire by Rapid City Area Schools personnel that were making and distributing lunches. The Rapid City Community Health Office was also open and operating during the time of the fire. No injuries were reported and occupants safely and quickly evacuated.

The fire was contained to the stove area while smoke was quickly cleared by firefighters who also assisted with the clean-up of water from the sprinkler system, and was determined to be an accident by an investigator from the Rapid City Fire Department.

Boxes being used for lunch distribution by the stove caught fire and were quickly extinguished by the sprinkler and hood systems. The fire shouldn’t negatively impact ongoing lunch distribution.

“The sprinkler system did exactly what it was designed to do”, said Lt. Brian Staton with the Rapid City Fire Department’s Fire and Life Safety Division. “Only the number of heads needed to put the fire out were activated. Instead of dealing with a big fire, we’re squeegeeing up water”.

The Rapid City Fire Department wants to remind everyone that it advocates for fire sprinkler protection, especially with large, public buildings.