A fire broke out at Moody’s Mediterranian Restaurant late in the evening on Wednesday, Feb. 1, but the building’s sprinkler system thankfully prevented it from spreading, saving the restaurant and other businesses located in the commercial building.
The Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) received notification of the sprinkler system going off at about 11:28 p.m. on February 1, when all businesses in the buildings had closed and everyone had gone home.
Crews had to forcibly enter the restaurant, which is located on the bottom floor of a two-story commercial building.
They encountered heavy smoke and limited visibility, but soon were able to determine that a single overhead sprinkler had extinguished most of the fire and prevented it from spreading.
AFD deputy chief Garth Rabel said the building’s sprinkler system fulfilled its exact purpose.
“The sprinkler system did exactly what it is supposed to do. It was a single sprinkler head over the site of the fire,” said Rabel.
“When it activated, that sets off a monitored system that activated the 9-1-1 system that got us on the way to the call,” he said.
“This was a single sprinkler head over the site of the fire that held it in check until our team could get there. That’s exactly how a good commercial fire ops works.”
While the business will require repairs from both the fire and likely water from the sprinkler, Rabel said the sprinkler was what kept the building safe.
“The true damage is without a sprinkler system, when the fire is able to take hold. That’s where huge damage happens,” he said.
“Sprinkler systems don’t damage buildings, they save them.”
Crews extinguished what remained, and then went to work venting the smoke, using a thermal imaging camera to make sure that the fire didn’t affect other parts of the building.
Moody’s is now closed for the foreseeable future while they work with the Fire Prevention Bureau and their insurance company, but all other businesses in the building were able to return to operations the following day.
“The team ensured that it stayed compartmentalized. Everything stayed within that one business,” said Rabel.
“The team checked the rest of the building for any extension of fire or smoke and found nothing.”
12 firefighters in total were on-scene for the situation, including members from all three local fire stations and a platoon chief.
The entire response took about three-and-a-half hours, with crews remaining on scene until about 2 a.m.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.