Tag Archives: Montana

Great Falls, MT – Sprinkler system held fire at laundry mat in check

UPDATE 5 PM: Great Falls Fire Rescue (GFFR) released more information in relation to the National Laundry Fire on Monday night. 

After GFFR arrived on scene, firefighters noticed smoke coming from the roof of the building.

Firefighters entered the building through a door on the East side of the building and were met with heavy smoke and no visibility.

When entry was made into the building, firefighters encountered two males in the building who were National Laundry employees attempting to put the fire out.

The employees had been notified of the alarm activation by the fire alarm monitoring company.

Both employees were escorted out of the building and assessed by GFES, but both employees refused any further medical care on completion of the medical assessment.

After firefighters reentered the building, they discovered the fire was being held in check by the building’s sprinkler system.

Even with the sprinkler system keeping the fire in check, firefighters did have a tough time getting the fire knocked down, but they were able to get it fully under control.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be the spontaneous combustion of mop heads. There are numerous fires that have been documented as being caused by the spontaneous combustion of mop heads at laundry facilities, as noted in Spontaneous Ignition Fires in Laundries by Jim Everitt.

Fire damage in National Laundry was limited by the presence of the fire sprinkler system. Without this system in place, the entire complex could have been lost.

As of now, total damages to National Laundry have not been determined, and they are working to get the business reopened.

Great Falls, MT – Sprinkler system extinguishes fire at hotel; No injuries reported

Great Falls Fire Rescue responded to a small fire at the Sleep Inn & Mainstay Suites at 520 Country Club Boulevard on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike McIntosh said in a news release that GFFR received a water flow alarm at 9:25pm, and Engine 4 arrived at the scene at 9:32pm.

Firefighters saw people vacating the hotel, but they did not see any visible smoke or fire.

Firefighters discovered that a small fire occurred in room 318. The fire started in a nightstand located next to a bed, which was close to an exterior wall.

The fire had generated enough heat to activate the building’s fire sprinkler system, which functioned as designed, and quickly extinguished the fire.

The fire damage to the room was minimal, but there was significant water damage to the second and third floors.

Hotel management was able to move the majority of guests affected by the water from the sprinkler system to other rooms within the hotel; one guest was relocated to another hotel.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire, and restoration crews are are continuing to assess the damage.

The occupant of room 318 could not be located when GFFR and Great Falls police officers were at the scene of the fire. They have tried to contact the room occupant, but have not yet been successful.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated. We will update you if we get more information.

Missoula, MT – Electric car in mall parking lot ignited, fire conatined by sprinklers; No injuries reported

The Missoula City Fire Department issued the following press release regarding the fire that occurred at Southgate Mall on Sunday morning.

‘The Missoula Fire Department was dispatched to an activated fire sprinkler system with smoke inside the Southgate Mall.

Arriving crews found heavy smoke just inside the East main entrance and approximately 4 ceiling mounted fire sprinklers activated just above the involved vehicle at the central clock court. Firefighters entered with a hose line and portable fire extinguishers, and quickly gained control of the fire however, the vehicle would re-ignite randomly. Crews soon discovered that the vehicle involved was electric and still plugged in to a floor outlet. Once de-energized the fire was completely extinguished.

Southgate Mall management and security assisted with accessing and shutting down the fire sprinkler system, MPD controlled access to the Mall.

MFD set up smoke fans and de-energized floor outlets. Once atmosphere was tenable Mall maintenance was allowed in to start clean up and assist with pushing the electric vehicle outside.’

Three engines and 12 firefighters responded to the incident, with no injuries reported.

Southgate Mall Manager Tim Winger told KGVO News on Sunday afternoon that a slight incident set off one of the sprinkler heads near Clock Court early in the morning causing minor damage.

Due to the incident and the cleanup that is currently underway, the Western Montana Car Club Expo was cancelled for the day.

Winger said regular mall operations will resume on Monday, September 28 with their normal operations from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Belgrade, MT – Hotel sprinkler system stops fire from spreading to hotel after car catches fire under portico; No injuries reported

Crews quickly snuffed out a car fire Friday afternoon at a Belgrade hotel.

Witnesses said a car under the portico caught fire at the La Quinta Inn and Suites off Jackrabbit Lane shortly after 3 p.m.
The building’s sprinkler system kicked in protecting the hotel but the fire spread to the hotel van parked under the portico and into the roof.

Officials say there was a hotel evacuation, but no injuries were reported. Bozeman Fire responded with big extension ladder truck along with Central Valley and Hyalite Fire.

The fire remains under investigation at this time.

Missoula, MT – Dorm hall fire sprinkler system puts out fire; No injuries reported

Officials with Flathead Valley Community College confirmed that a fire broke out in Founders Hall Sunday morning.

FVCC says no one was injured in the fire. They added that the building’s fire and sprinkler system worked properly, and the Kalispell Fire Department put the fire out.

Campus officials said some students were still living in the dorm. While only a few were affected by the fire, they say all of them were relocated to other rooms.

Authorities were not able to confirm the cause of the fire.

Billings, MT – Fire in Home Depot confined to garden center with help from sprinkler system

A small fire broke out at Home Depot Sunday night, causing an estimated $50,000 to the store’s outdoor garden center, according to Billings fire officials.  The fire was reported at 11:36 p.m., according to a Monday press release from Deputy Fire Marshal Jeff McCullough.  It was confined to a three-level rack containing some outdoor products, according to Billings Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Gilbert.

No one was injured in the fire, which apparently started after the store closed Sunday.  The store’s sprinkler system activated and helped confine the fire, which took firefighters about 15 minutes to fully extinguish, Gilbert said.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  No one was injured in the fire, which apparently started after the store closed Sunday.  The store’s sprinkler system activated and helped confine the fire, which took firefighters about 15 minutes to fully extinguish, Gilbert said.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Billings, MT – Sprinkler system assists firefighters in controlling apartment fire

An apartment fire Tuesday night above two Billings restaurants forced customers temporarily into the street while firefighters responded to the incident. The fire burned in a second floor unit of the Acme Hotel Apartments building above Hooligan’s Sports Bar and set off sprinklers in the apartment and fire alarms in the building.  Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the apartment and the cause was under investigation, according to Battalion Chief Dave Gilbert.

Multiple fire engines parked in the middle of North 28th Street and the Billings Police Department blocked the street off between First Avenue North and Second Avenue North during the response.   The street remained blocked off as of 8:00 p.m.  Some smoke traveled into a third floor hallway in the building and fans were set up to ventilate the area and clear smoke, Gilbert said.   About 20 minutes after the fire alarms began customers were allowed back into Hooligan’s Sports Bar and the Montana Brewing Company.

Gilbert said it was possible Hooligan’s would have to close early Tuesday night depending on the sprinkler system setup in the building. In some cases sprinkler and alarm systems in buildings are interconnected to the extent that shutting of one part of the system can affect the remainder, Gilbert said. A Billings Fire Department fire marshal would determine if any closures were necessary, Gilbert said. As of 9 p.m. a fire marshal was still conducting interviews and the cause of the fire remained undetermined, Gilbert said. More information would be available later in a press release, he said.

Livingston, MT – Arson fire at printing press extinguished by sprinkler system

Someone broke into The Livingston Enterprise very early Saturday morning and set fire to part of the printing press, causing substantial damage.  After the fire was discovered around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Livingston police detained a 17-year-old juvenile male on the scene and subsequently arrested him on charges of burglary and arson. Since the suspect is a juvenile, he is being held at the juvenile detention center in Billings.

Police did not release his name.  Livingston Police Department Sgt. Mike Labaty said “it is a likely connection,” that the individual is associated with the recent rash of vandalism around Livingston.  No Enterprise employees were working at the time of the break-in. From evidence at the scene, it appears the following took place:

• The suspect tried to burn large rolls of paper on the back loading dock, but only charred them. The person entered the press room by breaking the window on a back door, then reaching in to unlock the door. There, the suspect tried to light additional rolls of paper, again, only charring them.

• At some point, the individual started a fire on one of the press units, which contained a large roll of paper, severely damaging the unit and a large roll of paper in it.

• Water sprinklers above the press went off, extinguishing the fire.

• The suspect sprinkled foot powder all over the inserter machine, which inserts ad sections into papers. The suspect also burned a keyboard used on the inserter.

Saturday morning, the smell of burned paper hung in the air, partially burned and soggy rolls of paper, along with small pools of water, lay on the floor, and the charred remains of press parts were visible in the burned unit.

Enterprise staff are making repairs to the press. The damage shouldn’t interrupt printing of The Enterprise, which will print either on the press when repairs are made, or at a sister paper.

Helena, MT – Afternoon fire at middle school extinguished by sprinkler system; No injuries

There will be no classes at C.R. Anderson Middle School on Tuesday due to a fire that caused damage on Monday. According to a press release from Helena Public Schools, the fire was reported at 2:59 p.m.  There were no students in the building at the time, and there were no reported injuries.  Currently there is no power and no phone service at the school.

Just before 3 p.m. on Monday, the Helena Fire Department was dispatched to C.R.A. for a general fire alarm. When firefighters arrived they saw smoke coming from the west end door, so they evacuated the building. No students were in the building because it was an early release day.  Fire officials said the building sprinkler system kept the fire contained and quickly extinguished. 

On Tuesday, the building will be closed to students, staff, and the public. All after-school activities for May 9th have been cancelled.   The HPS says: “Due to water damage the status of the building will be assessed mid-day on Tuesday and a determination will be made regarding whether or not school will resume on Wednesday, May 10.”

Late Monday afternoon, a professional crew was at the school to begin work on cleaning up the water damage. The cause of the fire is being investigated. The dollar amount of damage is not yet known. We will update you when we get more information.

Bozeman, MT – Electrical equipment fire at Target store held in check by sprinkler system

Target had an unexpected mid-day closure yesterday afternoon, after a small fire started from malfunctioning electrical equipment. An electrical problem, also affecting other stores in the area, may have occurred as a result of the Baxter Lane rollover.  There were no injuries and the sprinkler system clicked on immediately. It was contained to the entrance of the store.