Category Archives: Government Office

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.

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.

Winnetka, IL – Electrical fire at township office contained by single sprinkler head

The New Trier Township office in Winnetka temporarily closed due to an electrical fire that broke out in a utility room last week.

Winnetka Fire Department personnel responded to an alarm at the building, 739 Elm St., March 28 at 3:46 a.m., according to Chief Alan Berkowsky.

Upon arrival, they discovered smoke coming from the building’s basement and located the fire in a corner of a utility room, Berkowsky noted.

“The fire was contained by a single sprinkler head, which held the fire in check,” Berkowsky said. “Once we powered the (electrical) grid down, we extinguished the fire. If it wasn’t for the sprinkler head and the fire alarm system doing what they were supposed to be doing, I think that building would have had significant fire damage.”

Huntington, WV – Sprinkler system extinguishes fire in police department headquarters; No injuries reported

A small fire inside the 10th Street Huntington Police Department headquarters was extinguished before fire crews could arrive late Friday night.

The fire alarm went off around 11 p.m. at headquarters. A small fire had started on a desk of the second floor Investigations Bureau and was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system.

Huntington Police Chief Ray Cornwell said the fire appears to be electrical, but it will be investigated by Huntington Fire Marshal Mat Winters.

The Huntington Fire Department responded to the scene.

There were no injuries. Repairs will need to be done to address water damage from the sprinklers.

New York, NY – Fire sprinkler system keeps fifth floor office fire to a minimum; No injuries reported

A fire in a Department of Buildings headquarters on Monday afternoon caused damage to several offices after computer paper somehow caught fire, FDNY officials said.

The fire was mostly contained to a fifth floor storage area at 280 Broadway, but was kept to a minimum by the building sprinkler system that a requirement in all commercial buildings over 40 feet high, including city-owned buildings.

No injuries were reported, though traffic on Broadway at Chambers Street was snarled for nearly an hour.

The fire went to an “all-hands” bringing in more than 50 firefighters on scene, who conducted a search throughout the building and were able to establish that the offices were safe to return. There were few workers in the building because of the Presidents Day holiday.

DOB officials did not respond as to how much damage the offices may have incurred.

The building, the former newspaper headquarters for the New York City Sun from 1833-1950, still has the original clock on the building, but hasn’t worked in years.  The City Sun was resurrected from 2002 to 2008 by investor Conrad Black, but then shut it down. The Department of Buildings later established their headquarters in the building. The building was made a landmark in 1986.

At one point, firefighters were unable to remove a hose that was connected to a fire truck. Efforts to remove the hose resulted in the hydrant exploding from underneath, causing a geyser in front of the building. It was quickly controlled, though DEP would be called to repair and hydrant.

Washington, D.C. – Sprinkler activation contains fire at US General Services Administration building; No injuries reported

A fire is under control at a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) building in downtown D.C. Monday morning, fire officials said about 6:20 a.m.

D.C. Fire and EMS crews were called for a fire on the sixth floor of the 10-story GSA Regional Office Building at 301 7th St. SW. It wasn’t immediately known what time they were called.

Sprinklers inside the building were activated and contained the fire, officials said. “Once again Sprinklers proved effectiveness in containing a potentially major fire in a key facility. Sprinklers save lives and property,” D.C. Fire and EMS tweeted about 6:30 a.m.

There are no reports of injuries.

Washington, D.C. – Attic fire at Russell Senate Office Building extinguished by sprinkler system

The Russell Senate Office Building was evacuated last Saturday night as Washington emergency crews responded to a small fire in the attic, according to the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department’s Twitter account.  “Box Alarm Russell Senate Office Building. #DCsBravest on scene with small fire in attic extinguished by sprinklers,” the tweet said. “Light smoke in several areas of building. Building has been evacuated.”  Department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said personnel responded at 6:10 p.m. to the fire, which was extinguished by the sprinkler system.  Maggiolo said the incident is now under control, and the cause of the fire will be investigated.

Woodstock, VA – Fire caused by malfunctioning printer at Voter Registrar’s Office controlled with help from sprinkler system

Just days ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, an early morning fire has forced Shenandoah County to move its voter registrar’s office.  Early on November 1, a fire originated in the Shenandoah County Voter Registrar’s Office, located in the Shenandoah County Government Center at 600 N. Main St.  According to the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s office, which is investigating the cause of the fire, it appears it was accidentally set by a malfunctioning printer.  However, due to damage from the fire, followed by activation of the sprinkler system in the building, the office is being temporarily relocated, along with all personnel and equipment.

Voters, including those planning to cast an absentee ballot ahead of Election Day, can access the relocated office at exterior door 3 of the county office building during regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and on Saturday, November 3, which is the final day to cast an in-person absentee ballot in Virginia.  The office will remain in the new location until further notice.

“Based on our preliminary review of the damage, it appears all voter records and any absentee ballots casts in advance of next week’s election have been protected and are secure. We are grateful the damage was not more extensive”, said Lisa McDonald, Shenandoah County Voter Registrar.

Fire companies from Strasburg, Edinburg, Woodstock, Toms Brook, and Shenandoah County responded to the scene to extinguish the fire on Thursday morning, with help from Woodstock Rescue, Woodstock Police and the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.

Edmonton, AB, Canada – No injuries reported in 11th floor office blaze; Sprinkler system activated to assist firefighters

A fire at a downtown Edmonton office building has displaced hundreds of Alberta government employees and crippled critical online industrial applications handled by government computer servers.  According to Environment and Parks spokesperson Matt Dykstra, 465 government employees across five ministries have been moved to different offices, or are working from home while damage is being repaired.

“There was smoke and water damage from the sprinkler systems that impacted a few different floors as well as the air conditioning system for the building,” said Dykstra.  “The hot weather that we have right now makes it unsafe for employees to be working in that building at this time.”  The July 30 fire, on the 11th floor of the Forestry Building, 9920 108th St., also affected the data centre in the mechanical room.  “It’s rendering the Alberta Environment and Parks server non-operational,” Dykstra said.

He said the public won’t notice any delays, but a notice posted on the Environment and Parks website says that due to the fire, telephone calls to the information centre will not be answered, and all inquiries must be made by email.  There will also be an impact on industry. The damaged computer servers are used by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER).

The service disruption means online applications that would normally take two or three days to process will be slower. In an online bulletin, the AER said applications done manually will now take up to two weeks to approve.

AER spokesperson Shawn Roth said in an email a workaround has been developed in meantime.  “The AER will be manually processing applications for Temporary Field Authorizations (TFAs), seismic exploration permits, and formal land disposition applications and issuing temporary approvals by email until the systems are restored.”

However, the AER bulletin also indicated some work has been put on hold, until the servers are back in operation. The AER said it is unable to accept new applications for formal land dispositions, or to process TFA applications that require documentation on First Nations consultation. The Alberta government leases the Forestry Building office space from Vancouver-based property management and investment firm, QuadReal Property Group.

Dykstra said he doesn’t know when employees will be back in the building or when the computer servers will be working again. The cause of the fire has not been determined, and there is no estimate of damage.

Moulton, AL – Fire in office cubicle at county courthouse is extinguished by sprinkler system

An overnight fire has caused damage in a north Alabama courthouse, and leaders are trying to figure out what to do next.  Local media reports that Moulton firefighters located the fire in a cubicle on the second floor after receiving an alarm.  Firefighters say it was an electrical fire that was put out by the sprinkler system.

Lawrence County officials announced on social media that the county courthouse in Moulton sustained fire, water and smoke damage from a blaze late Monday.  The building is closed indefinitely, and commissioners are meeting Tuesday to discuss the next step.