Category Archives: Government/Military

Westboro, MA – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire at police station; No injuries reported

A person was taken into custody after a fire was set in the lobby of the Westboro Police Station on Sunday night, officials said.

Crews responding to a report of a fire at the police station on Main Street around 8:20 p.m. found a smoldering fire being held in check by the building’s sprinkler systems and heavy smoke in the building, according to Westboro Fire Chief Patrick Purcell.

The police station was evacuated.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and ventilated the building.

No one was injured. Policing operations, including patrol, remain operational.

After a search, which included police K-9 units and police drones, a person of interest was located and taken into custody. That person’s name is not being released.

There was minimal fire damage to the building, but the sprinkler system caused significant water damage. Purcell estimated the damage at $250,000.

Burlington, VT – Sprinkler system extinguishes arson fire at police department

A fire at the Burlington Police Department was intentionally set, authorities say.

The Burlington Fire Department was dispatched Monday morning around 2 a.m. to the headquarters of the Burlington Police Department at 1 North Ave.

A fire had been set in the lobby, according to the police department, by Stephen A. Romprey, 62, who said later when he was questioned that he was making a point. He set fire to paper in the vestibule which is the only part of the police station that remains open at night. He was taken into custody and charged with second degree arson and reckless endangerment.

By the time fire crews arrived on scene the fire had been put out by the building’s automatic sprinkler system. Due to the amount of smoke the fire had produced, crews evacuated workers from the Emergency Communications Center, which was in a different part of the building. An emergency plan was activated to relocate the dispatch services so that 911 calls were not disrupted.

The fire and sprinkler system caused thousands of dollars in fire and water damage to part of the building, according to Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad. The water from the sprinkler flooded floors in multiple areas. About three hours after the evacuation, the Emergency Communications Center was able to operate out of the BPD building once again.

The police department is considering locking the doors to the vestibule as a result even though it includes a phone the public can use to alert authorities and a warm space that some unhoused use at night. Murad said the department is considering putting a phone on the exterior of the building.

This was the second in about a week’s time that Burlington emergency responders were targeted. On Nov. 5, an ambulance was stolen while on a call, driven about half a mile and crashed into a parked car.

Los Angeles, CA – Suspicious fire at city hall contained by sprinkler system

Arson investigators are looking into what caused a “suspicious” fire to break out at Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday night. 

According to the LAFD, firefighters responded to City Hall – located at 200 N. Main Street in downtown L.A. – around 8 p.m.

Preliminary reports indicated that an object was apparently thrown into the building, causing the fire to start.

Fire crews arrived on scene and responded to an activated alarm on the second floor of the building. A sprinkler helped contain most of the fire, LAFD said.

“LAFD firefighters found evidence that the fire was started suspiciously,” a spokesperson for the LAFD confirmed to KTLA.

A fire department spokesperson told the LA Times that the fire started in the office of Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso.

Tso later confirmed that there was a fire in her office, but also said that she could not comment further on the matter.

Arson investigators with the Los Angeles Fire Department are handling the ongoing investigation.

Sarasota, FL – Sprinkler system activated for kitchen fire inside jail

One person was injured in an early morning fire at the Sarasota County Jail on Saturday, July 8, according to the Sarasota County Fire Department.

Sarasota Battalion Chief Christopher Davis said flames broke out in the jail’s first floor kitchen just after 7 a.m. The victim was transported to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. At this time, it is unclear if the victim was an employee or an inmate.

He said the sprinkler system inside the building helped put out much of the fire before crews arrived. While no evacuations were made, Davis explained that jail staff kept a close eye on inmates while first responders checked out all portions of the building to make certain the fire was completely out.

The SCFD stated that the State Fire Marshal’s office was notified about the blaze inside of the jail. The fire was out before they were on the scene.

The fire was an accidental cooking fire caused by grease, according to Sarasota County’s communications director.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Cleveland, OH – Sprinkler system activated for garbage can fire at train station; No injuries reported

A garbage can fire inside Terminal Tower near the Tower City station has shut down the Blue and Green lines between Tower City and the East 55th Street Station. RTA says 67R buses will replace the rail service.

RTA also said Red Line trains will express the Tower City Station for the time being, with eastbound passengers destined for Tower City transferring to a shuttle bus at West 25th Street Station.

The fire activated the building’s sprinkler system, with RTA police as well as Cleveland police and fire personnel responding.

According to Lt. Mike Norman of Cleveland Fire, the fire was contained to a garbage can and the “surrounding structural area.” Responding units found the area filled with smoke. No fire alarm was activated.

“The Fire Marshal has been notified and will follow up on the issue with the fire alarm system,” said Norman.

The fire damage is estimated at $2,000.

No injuries were reported.

RTA Police have a suspect in custody.

Corpus Christi, TX – Sprinkler system activated for fire at transportation facility

An early morning fire caused some damage to the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) building at N. Staples St., Mike Rendon with CCRTA told 3NEWS.

The fire was reported just after 8 a.m. in a second floor storage room. RTA officials were preparing for a board meeting when the fire began, Rendon said.

Corpus Christi Fire Department crews were on scene within five minutes, Rendon said, and had the fire put out shortly after.

The water sprinkler system did cause some damage to the building and it will be closed for the rest of the day Wednesday, Rendon said. All RTA employees have been told to work from home today.

There is no word on the cause of the fire at this time. 

The Veterans Services and Social Services Offices within the building will be closed to walk-in clients until further notice. 

Cedar Rapids, IA – Sprinkler system extinguishes fire at public library; No injuries reported

The Cedar Rapids Downtown Public Library is closed until further notice after a fire broke out in a light fixture above the Commons area Wednesday, according to a news release.

The sprinkler system activated and the fire was quickly extinguished. The extent of the fire damage to the building is not yet known, but books and other library materials do not appear to have been damaged by the sprinkler water, the release states.

The building was safely evacuated and no one was injured. The library will remain closed through Thursday, and possibly longer, depending on how much cleanup is necessary.

Hold times and due dates will be extended accordingly.

Fresno, CA – Sprinkler system activated for possible arson fire

A fire Monday morning at a city-owned building in downtown Fresno that’s more than 120 years old may have been arson, according to a Fresno Fire Department battalion chief.

Crews were called at about 8:30 a.m. to the Greyhound bus station on Tulare Street and Santa Fe Avenue where flames from outside the building set off fire sprinklers, Battalion Chief Devin McGuire said.

Crews found two windows had been broken from the outside where the fire originated, McGuire said, and witnesses pointed out a man in the area who may have started the fire.

Firefighters worked to replace a damaged sprinkler, pushed pooled water out of the building and investigate the potential arson, he said.

Greyhound was not open at the time of the fire, according to fire crews.

The bus company rents the northern most space of the Spanish mission-style structure that also houses the Amtrak station in downtown. The city owns the building, McGuire said.

“It’s definitely a suspicious fire any time you do have a fire that starts on the exterior of the building,” he said.

The damage is not expected to affect daily business for the depot, he said.

The historic Santa Fe Railroad Depot building was completed in 1899.

Pleasant Prairie, WI – Sprinkler system activated for vehicle fire at public works center

The village Fire Department along with multiple fire agencies responded to the Roger Prange Municipal Center where a fire was reported to have started inside a public works vehicle Sunday night.

Fire departments from several surrounding communities were called at 6 p.m. to 8600 Green Bay Road to the municipal center’s public works building, which houses snow plows and other vehicles. The fire reportedly began inside a newer dump truck used in snow plowing operations, according to authorities on scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Pleasant Prairie Fire units arrived at 6:08 p.m. Minutes earlier, a police officer in the area noted “heavy black smoke” coming from the building, according to Fire Chief Craig Roepke.

Also responding to the fire were Zion, Winthrop Harbor, Beach Park and Newport fire agencies, he said. Bristol Fire and Salem Lakes assisted with a “change of quarters” to cover potential calls while village firefighters were out at the fire scene. The fire was under control at 6:18 p.m. and out at 6:24 p.m., he said.

“It appears that it was a vehicle fire that started in the engine compartment and at this time that’s all that we know,” Roepke said.

“Generally speaking, vehicle fires in the engine compartment spread rapidly. Typically, for a vehicle fire we don’t call all those units, but the fact that there was a vehicle fire inside a structure — that’s the indicator for additional units because if the vehicle sets the structure on fire, now we have building fire,” he said.

Roepke said the fire was contained to the vehicle itself and there was no damage to the structure or “any other vehicle” in the large storage building.

“The public works vehicle storage garage … is a sprinklered building. And the sprinkler system did activate and kept the vehicle fire in check until arriving units were able to extinguish (the fire),” he said.

Damage estimates have yet to be determined. He said the vehicle chassis is “likely a total loss” however, other components may still be salvageable. Public Works Director John Steinbrink Jr. also responded to the scene.

The Prange center campus also houses the village Police Department and 9-1-1 dispatch in a building just to the north of the public works structure, but were not affected by the fire.

Easton, MD – Sprinkler system activated for fire at courthouse

A portion of the Talbot County Courthouse was damaged after a computer caught fire late Sunday morning. The Talbot County 911 Center received a fire alarm notification from the Talbot County Courthouse at around 11:30 a.m.

Firefighters arrived on scene to discover that a computer located in the Clerk of the Court’s office in the North Wing had caught fire, which had spread to a cabinet area. The sprinkler system was activated, helping to extinguish the flames. However, the Clerk of the Court and Register of Wills offices now have significant water and smoke damage.

Talbot County Manager Clay Stamp says disaster clean up company Royal Plus dispatched dozens of trucks and workers to assist with clean up. “At this point in time, the water has been removed and the air has been scrubbed in the main part of the courthouse. So, the court rooms should be open in the next several days,” he said.

The Talbot County Courthouse Finance Office, Circuit Court, Clerk of Court, and Register of Wills offices remained closed Monday. The South Wing of the Courthouse including the offices of Administrative Services, County Council Office, County Manager’s Office, County Attorney’s Office, and Information Technology opened as normal.

Court rooms are expected to reopen in the next several days, according to Stamp. But, the Clerk of the Court and Register of Wills offices could remain out of service for longer. “The best option is to check the website for both the register of wills and the Talbot County clerk of court. There will be information posted every day as to the status of where they are,” said Stamp. “We will do everything necessary to get services back up and running as quickly as possible.”

Stamp says right now, county officials are trying to figure out how quickly they’ll be able to open up the second floor of the courthouse. He adds they’re appreciative to the first responders and royal plus for assisting in the clean up.

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