Fire Sprinkler Saves (Spring 2021 Edition)

Spring 2021 Sprinkler Saves in the Chicagoland area. You can submit stories here and view other saves here.

Single Fire Sprinkler Extinguishes Senior Housing Cooking Fire

June 22, 2021
PARK FOREST, IL – One fire sprinkler extinguished a cooking fire at Victory Centre of Park Forest, a senior housing apartment community. According to Captain Phillip Myers, Park Forest Fire Department, the resident was cooking, left the kitchen and fell asleep. The fire started on the stove and traveled up the cabinets. The sprinkler closest to the fire activated.

While the fire department responded, building maintenance accessed the apartment, found the occupant asleep in the bedroom and assisted the occupant out of the apartment. Fire crews arrived to find light smoke and the fire extinguished.

“The sprinkler stopped the fire and saved a life. If this building was not protected, the outcome could have been much different,” Myers said.

The occupant was checked by EMS and did not need further care. The fire sprinkler system was back in service the same day. There was no damage to the other 94 apartments and no injuries were reported.

Source:  Fire Sprinkler Save Report submitted by Phillip Myers, Captain, Park Forest Fire Department

Single Fire Sprinkler Extinguishes Pallet Fire

June 19, 2021
ADDISON, IL  – A single fire sprinkler extinguished a fire in a multi-tenant commercial occupancy. The Addison Fire Protection District responded to a fire alarm and found static smoke. One fire sprinkler suppressed a fire that started when a pallet of cardboard was too close to lighting. The estimated damage was $500. No injuries were reported.

Source: Sprinkler Save Report submitted by Mike Toika, Fire Marshal, Addison Fire Protection District #1.

Fire Sprinklers Control Storage Room Fire At Walgreens

June 14, 2021
– Fire sprinklers controlled a fire in a storage room near a loading dock at a Walgreens. According to Battalion Chief Jim Rhodes, Aurora Fire Department, Walgreens employees reported that the sprinkler system activated. Firefighters saw smoke coming from the storage room near the loading dock and extinguished the remaining fire. The fire may have been related to an earlier electrical fire in the ally behind the Walgreens. A truck hit a power line causing a few small spot fires. No injuries were reported.

Source: Aurora Patch

Fire Sprinkler Contains Commercial Dryer Fire

June 7, 2021
– A single sprinkler controlled a fire in a large commercial dryer. According to a North Park Fire Protection District Facebook post, the sprinkler controlled the fire until crews arrived. There was zero visibility in the basement where the fire occurred. The sprinkler saved tens of thousands (if not more) dollars in fire and smoke damage, and prevented possible injury to staff and residents.

North Park Dryer Fire-2 North Park Dryer Fire 6/21-1

Source: North Park Fire Protection District Facebook page

Fire sprinkler extinguishes fire at Dollar General store

June 5, 2021
URBANA, IL – A fire sprinkler extinguished a refrigerator unit fire at a Dollar General store. According to Chief Chuck Lauss, Urbana Fire Department, the fire did not spread, but the refrigeration unit was damaged. No injuries were reported.

Source:  The News-Gazette

Fire Sprinklers Extinguish Arson Fire In School Restroom

June 1, 2021
 – Fire sprinklers extinguished a fire in a restroom at Ira Jones Middle School in Plainfield. Responding to a fire alarm, firefighters from Plainfield Fire Protection District and Plainfield Police confirmed that fire sprinklers extinguished the fire in the restroom located on the first floor.

Investigators identified a student as the individual who started the fire. He admitted to using a lighter to ignite paper towel. All students and staff were safely evacuated. No injuries were reported.

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Source: Village of Plainfield Police Department press release

Fire Sprinklers Control Fire at Wheeling Manufacturing Facility

May 2021
 – Fire sprinklers controlled a fire at a manufacturing occupancy in Wheeling. The company where the fire occurred called the sprinkler contractor to conduct service work and credited the fire sprinkler system with controlling a fire and saving the building. The Wheeling Fire Department responded to the incident and reported “the fire sprinkler system performed just as it was supposed to.”

Source: NFSA’S Spotlight on Fire Sprinklers

Fire Sprinklers Control Fire at Litchfield Walmart

May 3, 2021
  – Fire sprinklers controlled a fire in the back of a Walmart store. According to Litchfield Fire Department Chief Joe Holomy, crews responded to a report of flames and smoke in the store. Evacuations were underway when the firefighters arrived. Two employees were attempting to extinguish the fire using fire extinguishers when fire sprinklers activated. Firefighters extinguished the remaining fire. Authorities are investigating the origin of the fire. The two employees were evaluated for smoke inhalation, but refused transport to the hospital.

Source: The Journal-News

Single Fire Sprinkler Extinguished Fire at Chipotle

April 26, 2021
  – A fire sprinkler extinguished a fire at a Chipotle restaurant in Park Ridge. The origin of the fire was a portable blower fan. Upon arrival, the Park Ridge Fire Department confirmed the fire was extinguished. No injuries were reported.

Source: Lt. Kevin Plach, Fire Marshal, Park Ridge Fire Department via Fire Sprinkler Save web form

Fire Sprinklers Protect Underground Walkway at O’Hare Airport

April 17, 2021
  – Fire sprinklers extinguished an electrical fire in a pedestrian tunnel at O’Hare International Airport. The long walkway between Concourse B and C is notable for its bright, colored lights running overhead and on the walls. According to Chicago fire and aviation authorities, an apparent electrical issue sparked the fire. Sprinklers activated and the electricity was turned off. No injuries were reported.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Fire Sprinkler Controls Fire At Bensenville Senior Citizen Living Facility

April 12, 2021
  – A fire sprinklers stopped a kitchen fire from spreading at Castle Towers, a senior citizen living facility. Bensenville Fire Protection District responded to a structure fire on the 4th floor of the 5- story building. The fire was caused by cooking and spread to the cabinets above the stove, activating the sprinkler. Fire fighters were able to extinguish the remaining fire that was inside the cabinet with a pump can. The building has 148 units. No injuries were reported.

Source: Bensenville Fire Protection District Facebook

Two Sprinklers Control Fire At Manufacturing Plant

April 6, 2021
  – Two fire sprinklers controlled a fire at Swiss Automation, a 165,000 square foot manufacturing plant. According to Robert Martel, Director of Fire Prevention, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District, after making entry into the building, crews found dark smoke, but no visible flame. Two fire sprinklers activated and were controlling the fire.

The fire sprinkler system was put back into service within two hours. The following day, the business was able to start bringing back some of the machines. After one week, repairs were made and the business was at full capacity. According to Martel, the plant manager said that every day that the business is not working at full capacity, more than $200,000 per day is lost. The fire sprinklers prevented a significant loss of business. No injuries were reported.


Source: Robert Martel, Director of Fire Prevention, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District.


Single Fire Sprinkler Extinguished Fire At Antioch Motorcycle Shop

April 4, 2021
  – A single fire sprinkler extinguished a spontaneous combustion fire caused by oily shop rags at High Performance Racing in Antioch. When crews from the Antioch Fire Department entered the building, they were hit with black smoke and water on the ground. The fire started near the washer and dryer, activating the sprinkler.

It is estimated that the sprinkler saved more than $800,000 worth of equipment and the business opened up two days later. Without fire sprinklers, the entire building including the apartment next door would have been a total loss. No injuries were reported.