Successful Activations (Spring 2016 Edition)

Download a sprinkler save report to record your fire department’s latest successful fire sprinkler activations.

May 2016

Townhome
Fox Lake Fire Protection District

A fire sprinkler controlled a fire in the garage of a four-unit townhome, allowing the residents to escape unharmed by preventing the fire from spreading to inside the residence and the three other attached units.
Read full story
David Becker, Fire Marshal,
Fox Lake Fire Protection District

April 2016

U.S. Cellular Field
Chicago Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system at the ballpark for the Chicago White Sox contained an early morning fire in a storage area. The successful activation came on the morning of the White Sox home opener against the Cleveland Indians.
“This one was more than a save for fire sprinklers, it was a save for baseball, and it really shows how important fire sprinklers are in the early containment of a fire,“ said Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. “Because of fire sprinklers, and the quick actions of the Chicago Fire Department, there are a lot of fans out there who are going to enjoy an opening day they might not otherwise have been able to see. This fire might have been a curve ball for opening day, but fire sprinklers definitely hit a home run.”
Read full story
Multiple media outlets

Oak Lawn Respiratory & Rehabilitation Center
Oak Lawn Fire Department

The nursing home’s fire sprinkler system controlled a clothes dryer fire in the basement until fire crews arrived. Everyone safely evacuated the building and no injuries were reported.. Firefighters did not need their hose lines, but rather fire extinguishers to complete extinguishment. Once the building was aired out, the patients were able to return to their rooms.
Oak Lawn Patch

Lexington Health Care
Orland Fire Protection District

The retirement home’s fire sprinkler system quickly controlled a fire, caused by a coffee maker on a shelf, as it spread to a desk and an adjacent wall in a basement maintenance area.
Fire officials said the quick response of the fire sprinkler system saved lives and minimized damage, stating that it could have been a far worse fire without fire sprinklers. Damage was limited to the desk and shelves. When firefighters arrived, they only needed to use a fire extinguisher to completely extinguish the smoldering fire.

“This was a perfect example of how the sprinkler system quickly prevented the fire from spreading throughout the property, and minimized the intrusion on the lives of the residents in the home,” said Orland Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Schofield. “Every year at our open house event, we demonstrate the role fire sprinkler systems play in saving lives and preventing damage caused by fires in businesses, properties like assisted living centers, and even in private homes.”

Since the fire sprinkler system limited the spread of the fire, no residents needed be moved or evacuated and the daily operations of the facility were not interrupted.
Read full story
Michael Schofield, Fire Chief,
Orland Fire Protection District

Peel Wood Fired Pizza
O’Fallon Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system inside the restaurant prevented an outside dumpster fire, which entered the back wall, from getting inside the rest of the building.
KSDK-TV

March 2016

Perlman Apartments (Housing Authority of Cook County)
Evanston Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler extinguished a kitchen fire in an apartment unit on the top floor of the high-rise building. The tenant, who is wheelchair-bound, and her daughter were both asleep at the time of the fire. An estimated $200,000 was saved due to the quick response of the fire sprinkler.
The building, which has over 100 tenants, was just recently retrofitted with fire sprinklers in November 2015.
“If not for the sprinkler, the tenant would probably not be here today. Other seniors on her floor would have been in jeopardy as well,” said Evanston Fire Captain John Roche.
Read full story
John Roche, Captain/Inspector,
Evanston Fire Department

February 2016

Biggers Chevrolet
Elgin Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system at the car dealership controlled a fire, confining it and limited its spread, until fire crews arrived on the scene. The damage was confined to a heating unit in the shop area, a spray booth and the roof covering.

No one was injured and damage was limited to only $40,000 to the structure and its contents.
“We could have lost a car dealership last night but fire sprinklers kept the fire in check and our guys finished the job,” said Elgin Fire Chief John Fahy.
John Fahy, Fire Chief,
Elgin Fire Department

Walgreens (Corporate Headquarters)
Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District

The fire sprinkler system at the Deerfield office building contained a fire in a walk-in cooler.
“The large office building was built without fire sprinklers back in the 1970s, but in 2011, Walgreens worked with Chris Johnson and the fire prevention bureau to retrofit a sprinkler system and update the fire alarm system. This was not required, but because of the dedication of a full-time staffed bureau and a long-standing, progressive and positive relationship, the project was seen to completion,” says Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Ray Larson.
Ray Larson, Deputy Chief,
Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District

Trump Tower
Chicago Fire Department

Fire sprinklers in the 98-story high-rise controlled a fire in a trash compactor on the 50th floor, preventing injuries, deaths and major property damage.
Read full story
Multiple media reports

Scott Hall – University of Illinois
Champaign Fire Department

One fire sprinkler extinguished an overnight trash can fire in a common area garbage closet on the second floor of the residence hall.
“The sprinkler system did its job,” said Urbana Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger.
News-Gazette

Warehouse
Chicago Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the one-story warehouse contained a fire that was located in stacks of cardboard.
ChicagoFireMap.net

Masters Shipping
Bedford Park Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler kept a fire in check the multi-tenant warehouse building. The fire began when a 480-volt electric bus run shorted out and caused sparks to fall on a stack of pallets and mattresses below. The fire smoldered for approximately 15 minutes before it began to grow and activate the fire sprinkler. There was no serious damage to the building and the business was able to reopen in a few hours.
“Thank goodness for the fire sprinklers, otherwise the building and full property would be lost,” said one of the Bedford Park fire chiefs to the business owner.
Mike Willis

January 2016

Business
Naperville Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the building, along with firefighter hoses, helped extinguish a fire in a rear storage room. There were no injuries reported.
Naperville Sun

December 2015

Chaddock School
Quincy Fire Department

Before fire crews arrived on the scene of a mattress fire at the on-campus special education school, the fire sprinkler system in one of the cottages extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported.
WGEM-TV

Senior Housing
Chicago Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the six-story residential building controlled a fourth-floor fire that was caused by an oven-related fire. The tenant, who was not in her unit at the time of the fire, accidentally left the oven on, which ignited a can of grease that she stored in tin foil on the oven rack. The fire escaped the oven and ignited a plastic appliance. The smoke hood activated but failed to extinguish the fire before the fire sprinkler activated and controlled it.
All residents escaped and all but the fourth-floor residents returned to their units following the fire. Once the fire sprinkler system was repaired and placed back in service, the remaining residents from the fourth floor returned to their units. Only the tenant in the unit where the fire occurred was unable to return that night.
Brian Driscoll,
Sprinkler Fitters Local 281

November 2016

21 Kristin Place (High-Rise)
Schaumburg Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler contained a cooking fire in one of the living units on the fourth floor of the residential high-rise. Fire damage was contained to the kitchen cabinets. There have been a number of sprinkler saves in this particular building since the fire sprinkler system was installed as part of an ordinance enacted by Schaumburg in 2004.
Michael Rons, Fire Marshal,
Schaumburg Fire Department

One Prairie Place (Governors State University)
University Park Fire Department

A fire sprinkler in the two-story, 77-unit dormitory extinguished and prevented the spread of a fire that occurred due to unattended cooking on an electric stovetop in a quad room kitchenette.

October 2015

Apartment Building
Mount Prospect Fire Department

One fire sprinkler controlled an over fire one of the dwelling units. Damage was limited to the stove area. No injuries were reported.
“The automatic fire sprinkler system performed as designed,” said Interim Fire Chief Brian Lambel.
Bryan Loomis, Fire Marshal,
Mount Prospect Fire Department

Pack Rat Enterprises
Mount Prospect Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler held a vehicle fire in check until firefighters arrived at the 60,000-square-foot warehouse. Fire damage was limited to the vehicle. No injuries were reported.
“Without the automatic fire sprinkler system and fire alarm system, the loss to this building could have been much more significant,” stated Interim Fire Chief Brian Lambel.
Bryan Loomis, Fire Marshal,
Mount Prospect Fire Department

September 2015

Multifamily Building
Lise-Woodridge Fire Protection District

A fire sprinkler in a kitchen of one of the living units put out a grease fire. By the time the resident called 9-1-1 to report the emergency, the fire already was completely extinguished by the sprinkler system. The fire department arrived to no fire and virtually no fire damage, with the exception of some scorch marks on a wall. No one was injured in the fire.
“Fires that occur in multifamily residential building can be very damaging, as they will often spread into the attic space and cause major fire and smoke damage,” said Chris Hull, fire inspector for the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District. “Fortunately, this entire residential complex underwent major renovations several years ago. As part of the construction, the Village of Woodridge required a residential fire sprinkler system to be retrofitted in every building, protecting each unit and the public corridors.”
“Because of the successful operation of the fire sprinkler system in this residential building, this fire was quickly extinguished and it did not have the opportunity to spread,” he added.
Chris Hull, Fire Inspector,
Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District

Multifamily Building
Tinley Park Fire Department

A single sidewall fire sprinkler controlled the spread of a trash can fire on the first floor of the three-story, 12-unit residential building.  Estimated damage was only $3,000 (versus an average of $80,941 for structure fires from January 2012-October 2015). No occupants were displaced.
Bill Proper, Public Education Coordinator,
Tinley Park Fire Department

February 2015

Marina City
Chicago Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the high-rise extinguished a fire in a trash chute.
Loop North News

2019-08-14T15:45:24-06:00January 12th, 2016|0 Comments

Successful Activations (Fall/Winter 2015 Edition)

Download a sprinkler save report to record your fire department’s latest successful fire sprinkler activations.   October 2015  

The Buckingham High-Rise Chicago Fire Department

One fire sprinkler controlled a kitchen fire in a unit of the 22-story, off-campus high-rise for students. Unnamed source  

Kroger Bloomington Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system put out a fire that occurred in the manager’s office of the grocery store before the store opening. The store was able to reopen later the same day. A Kroger spokesperson said there was no damage. WJBC-AM  

Riverside Apartments Rockford Fire Department

Due to the quick response of the fire sprinkler system, no one was hurt in a fire at the 10-unit apartment building. The sprinkler system allowed residents to safely as escape as it controlled the fire, which began when a resident fell asleep with food cooking on a stovetop. Sprinklers saved another apartment building in the same complex in July 2015. Read the full story Rockford Register Star  

BoxPartners.com Elgin Fire Department

A fire sprinkler system held a fire at bay until fire crews arrived at the shipping and storage box seller’s warehouse . No one was injured, damage was limited to $25,000, and the business was able to reopen. Chief Fahy stated, “This had the potential to be tragic if not for the sprinkler system working properly.” Elgin Fire Department news release  

University Court Apartments – Cooper Building Charleston Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the on-campus Eastern Illinois University apartment building put out a grease fire in a kitchen of one of the units. All residents, except those in the affected apartment, were able to return to their apartments within an hour. Kelly Miller, associate director of housing and dining at EIU, said there was not much physical damage and the fire sprinklers worked as intended. The Daily Eastern News   September 2015  

Zion Development Apartment Complex Rockford Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the apartment building controlled a grease fire in the kitchen of a fifth-floor unit. No one was injured. Rockford Register Star  

One Main Place Decatur Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the building, which houses a restaurant and other commercial tenants, held a dryer fire in check in the basement laundry room until firefighters arrived to fully extinguish the fire. Herald & Review  

Eagle Wings Rantoul Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the industrial plant, which produces large welded sub-assemblies and stampings for chassis and suspensions systems in the automobile industry, contained a fire that began when embers in a filtration system caught filters on fire. The employees were safely evacuated and returned to the plant within 90 minutes. The fire did not cause any limitations in production. Rantoul Press  

Comfort Inn Des Plaines Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler contained a fire in the basement storage room of the hotel until fire crews arrived to fully extinguish the fire. Occupants safely escaped and were able to return to their rooms within 90 minutes. The hotel remained open following the fire. Damage was contained to some stored tables, chairs and other items, as well as electrical equipment. There was little structural damage and no one was injured. “This was another great save by an automatic fire sprinkler system,” said Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax. Des Plaines Journal   April 2015  

Gulick Hall – Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington Fire Department

A fire sprinkler system in the university building, which contains residences for 135 students and the Office of Residential Life, contained a fire that was caused by a faulty office copier. Students were safely evacuated from the upper-floor residences, but were able to return shortly thereafter. No one was injured. Pantagraph   December 2014  

Wildfire Steaks, Chops & Seafood Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District

In the afternoon on Christmas Day, the fire sprinkler system in the Lincolnshire restaurant controlled a kitchen fire until fire crews arrived. All occupants safely escaped and no one was injured. The restaurant reopened for business the following day. Daily Herald   November 2014  

Helia Healthcare of Champaign Champaign Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the nursing home helped control a fire that began due to a clothes dryer. No one was injured and residents were able to remain in the building. News-Gazette   April 2014  

G&K Services Rockford Fire Department

The building’s fire sprinkler system prevented the spread of a fire that began with several tractor trailers in the loading dock. WTVO-TV/WQRF-TV   December 2013  

Jewel Fox Lake Fire Protection District

One fire sprinkler in the cash room of the store put out a fire before firefighters got on scene. The store remained open that day. Thomas Preidis, Battalion Chief, Fox Lake Fire Protection District  

November 2013

 

Meadows Apartments Fox Lake Fire Protection District

A single fire sprinkler in the Lakemoor apartment building quickly extinguished a bedroom fire before fire crews arrived on scene. “One fire sprinkler saved the whole building from burning down and most of the family’s posessions were saved,” said Fox Lake Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Ed Lescher. Ed Lescher, Battalion Chief, Fox Lake Fire Protection District  ]]>

2015-11-10T17:01:09-06:00November 10th, 2015|0 Comments

Mayor Emanuel, Chicago City Council Must Encourage Congressional Delegation to Pass Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act to Benefit High-Rises

yet to comply with the city’s Life Safety Evaluation (LSE), help may be on the way from the federal government. Fire sprinklers are one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods to help buildings to pass the LSE and now they could be an even more beneficial option due to the filing of the 2015 Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act (FSIA). On September 22, the FSIA was filed to encourage building owners to invest in life-saving fire safety upgrades. It strengthens tax incentives for building owners to retrofit their buildings with life- and property-saving fire sprinklers. Currently, commercial building owners must depreciate fire sprinkler retrofits over a period of 39 years and residential building owners over 27-1⁄2 years. The FSIA reclassifies fire sprinkler retrofits as 15-year depreciable property, allowing businesses to more quickly receive tax benefits. The FSIA was filed as S. 2068 by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tom Carper (D-Delaware), while also being introduced as H.R. 3591 by Representatives Tom Reed (R-New York) and Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island). The original FSIA was introduced in 2003 following the tragic Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, that claimed 100 lives. Since then, the legislation has been reintroduced in subsequent Congresses with various changes made to address concerns regarding cost estimates. In Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s prior role as a U.S. Representative, he had joined as a co-sponsor of the original bill in 2003, and again in 2005 and 2007. Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board believes now is the time for Mayor Emanuel to once again show his support and, together with the City Council, call on Illinois’ Congressional delegation to back the bill. “Mayor Emanuel now has a positive federal tool to help the residents and owners of residential and commercial high-rises to comply with the Chicago Substitute Ordinance requiring a Life Safety Evaluation that can be passed with a retrofit of fire sprinklers,” says Lia. “The paradigm has now turned where people can get assistance to do what will make their building the most fire safe, even in the space where they live, by installing fire sprinklers.”  ]]>

2015-09-28T17:09:07-06:00September 28th, 2015|0 Comments

Chicago Apartment Fire Affects Soon-to-Be-Married Couple, Resident Fighting Cancer

couple who were getting married later that day. Fortunately, a fire marshal was able to salvage a doused marriage license and a letter that the groom planned to read at the ceremony, however, the wedding rings could not be located at the time. Two groomsmen who lived next door were not home and lost a dog and cat to the fire. With many creative-types living in the building, there were many one-of-a-kind pieces of art and costumes that also were lost. Tom Harvey of Nova Fire Protection reports of a friend who was also affected by the fire. She and her boyfriend, who is battling cancer, lost everything. She notes that the only reason she became aware of the fire and got out safely was because a neighbor was pounding on everyone’s doors after he was signaled by his dog’s whimpering at his door. The fire alarm had been going off but could not be heard until the residents opened their doors to the hallway. As she entered the hallway, thick black smoke was quickly filling it. “I grabbed my dogs, threw their leashes on, and grabbed my cell phone. My neighbor took the two small dogs because the third slipped out of her collar and ran back into our unit,” she recalls. “In the matter of minutes it took me to to get our third dog out, the smoke was down to my waist and I had to get low to get to the stairs and out. It moved so fast that everyone basically got out with the clothes on their backs.” Her and her boyfriend were “between places,” so they didn’t have renters insurance. They were allowed to go back to the building in the following weeks to see what could be salvaged, but not much was left that was not damaged by fire, smoke, or mold. She notes that the loss is well over $200,000. One of her dogs was hit by a car after the chaos of escaping from the building, which created additional costs in vet bills. These are just a few examples of the types of people who are affected everyday by fires in unsprinklered buildings in Chicago and throughout the nation. While they may survive the fires, they lose a large portion of their lives and memories as they helplessly watch their homes and possessions burn. Meanwhile, Chicago does not require fire sprinklers in multifamily buildings such as where the fire occurred. The fire is just one of many examples of what could continue to happen until the day that fire sprinklers are finally required by Chicago code, which will prevent similar losses in the future. A better story than the couple who lost their belongings to fire on their wedding day would be the couple whose residence and possessions were saved by fire sprinklers on their wedding day.  ]]>

2015-09-20T15:56:14-06:00September 20th, 2015|0 Comments

Successful Activations (Spring/Summer 2015 Edition)

Download a sprinkler save report to record your fire department’s latest successful fire sprinkler activations.  

August 2015

 

Stevenson Hall (Eastern Illinois University) Charleston Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the dormitory quickly doused a fire that began due to the unattended burning of incense in a closet in a fifth-floor room. Following the departure of the fire department, the building was fully open to students except in the room of origin. Daily Eastern News  

July 2015

 

Riverside Apartments Rockford Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the apartment building quickly controlled an electrical fire that ignited a mattress in a single apartment unit. Fire officials say the quick response of the fire sprinkler system prevented major damage and any injuries or fatalities. Read the full story WIFR-TV  

Apartment DeKalb Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the apartment building contained the flames of a fire that appeared to have begun in a bathroom when the occupant was not at home. Upon arrival, firefighters put out the remaining flames. There were no injuries and damage was estimated at only $5,000. Daily Chronicle  

June 2015

 

Tower at Third Champaign Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system controlled and limited a fire to a single unit on the third floor of the campus high-rise apartment building. Residents were safely evacuated to the first-floor lobby and no one was hurt. News-Gazette  

Lotawata Creek Fairview Heights Fire Department

According to Fairview Heights Fire Chief Bryan Doyle, the restaurant’s fire sprinkler system controlled a fire, preventing the building from becoming a total loss. KSDK-TV  

Aramark Uniform Services East Moline Fire Department

When an air compressor caught fire in the early morning hours, the building’s fire sprinkler system put out the flames. No one was injured. KWQC-TV  

May 2015

 

Village Links Golf Course Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company

A fire in the golf course’s maintenance shed was contained and extinguished by the building’s fire sprinkler system before fire crews arrived on the scene. Glen Ellyn Patch  

Oswego East High School Oswego Fire Protection District

The school’s fire sprinkler system fully extinguished a small fire caused by a science experiment with a Bunsen burner and alcohol. Students and staff were allowed to resume the school day shortly after fire crews left the scene. Oswego Patch  

Obiter Research Champaign Fire Department

A fire in the chemical research laboratory was held in check by the lab’s fire sprinkler system until firefighters arrived. The fire was caused by an alcohol-based substance that was accidentally ignited by a spark. Smoke damage was limited to the room of origin and there was no structural damage to the building. All occupants evacuated safely and no firefighters were injured. News-Gazette  

Rosati’s Pizza Naperville Fire Department

Two fire sprinklers in the strip mall pizza business controlled a fire, which began in one of the commercial cooking appliances, until fire department companies arrived on scene. The adjacent businesses were not affected.  There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. Naperville Fire Department news release  

April 2015

 

Skyridge Club Apartments Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department

The fire sprinkler system in the two-story multifamily apartment building extinguished an oven fire in one of the units. ChicagoFireMap.net  

Medical Office Building Elgin Fire Department

Before fire crews arrived, the building’s fire sprinkler system doused a fire  caused by an electrical issue or lightning strike to telecommunications equipment. Fire and smoke damage were minimal and no on was injured. Chicago Sun-Times  

Apartment Building Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District

The fire sprinkler system in the three-story apartment building prevented an exterior fire on second- and third-floor balconies from becoming worse inside the building. “Without the sprinklers it would have been much, much worse. That’s what helped the residents. It helped the fire from spreading faster,” said Assistant Chief Peter VanDorpe. No serious injuries were reported. One older man was treated for smoke inhalation. Suburban Life  

Del’s Popcorn Shop Decatur Fire Department

The shop’s fire sprinkler system contained an exterior fire to the rear of the building and prevented it from spreading to the front of the building. The fire began in a dumpster behind the building, climbed the exterior wall toward the second floor and breached where the electricity enters the building. “It definitely could have been much worse,” Battalion Chief Todd McKenzie said. Herald & Review  

Nuova Italia Addison Fire Protection District

One fire sprinkler extinguished a small fire that occurred in a glassware bin behind the restaurant’s bar area. The plastic bin was only half burned and there were some burn patterns on the adjacent shelf. Damage was limited to only $5,000. The building is valued at approximately $200,ooo and the contents at $20,000. Mike Toika, Fire Marshal, Addison Fire Protection District  

March 2015

 

Dunton Tower Apartments Arlington Heights Fire Department

Fire sprinklers in the 15-story apartment building activated in the building’s first-floor mechanical room and on some upper floors to contain a fire in the building’s garbage chute. No one was injured. ChicagoFireMap.net / Daily Herald  

Dairy Queen Lake Zurich Fire Rescue

Two fire sprinklers prevented the spread of a fire in the storage room of the restaurant. The fire was on a storage shelf and involved cardboard and plastics. It also caused a small butane cylinder to explode. “Despite the explosion of the butane cylinder, the fire sprinklers still held the fire in check,” said Lake Zurich Fire Prevention Specialist Bob Kleinheinz. “Without the fire sprinkler protection, we would have had a very serious fire as it would have gone undetected very early in the morning.” Bob Kleinheinz, Fire Prevention Specialist, Lake Zurich Fire Rescue  

Sandburg Middle School Elmhurst Fire Department

The school’s fire sprinkler system put out a fire caused by a chemical reaction in a science classroom on the lower level. No students were in the classroom at the time and no injuries were reported. The damage to ceiling tiles, classroom supplies and audio/video equipment was limited to only $11,000. Chicago Sun-Times  

High-Rise Apartment Building Schaumburg Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler controlled a late night fire caused by a kitchen fire in one apartment unit of the high-rise. This was the third successful fire sprinkler activation in the same high-rise since the building was retrofit with fire sprinklers per Schaumburg’s high-rise retrofit ordinance. Michael Rons, Fire Marshal, Schaumburg Fire Department  

Industrial Building Schaumburg Fire Department

A fire sprinkler in a spray booth activated to control a fire. Michael Rons, Fire Marshal, Schaumburg Fire Department  

February 2015

 

Clear Lam Packaging Elk Grove Village Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the facility, which manufactures flexible and rigid packaging materials, extinguished a fire caused by a small explosion. ChicagoFireMap.net  

Iron Mountain Elk Grove Village Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler in the records storage and document shredding facility controlled a fire in a paper bale until firefighters arrived and provided full extinguishment.
ChicagoFireMap.net  

Diesel Truck Mechanical Service Addison Fire Protection District

Two fire sprinklers fully extinguished a fire in the shop area of the building. All occupants safely escaped. An employee had been cleaning grease off the floor with liquid brake cleaner when they noticed the floor was on fire near a gas water heater. Flame and heat damage were limited to the area around and above the water heater. Damage estimates were limited to only $5,000 for contents and $15,000 for the building which is valued at approximately $500,000. Mike Toika, Fire Marshal, Addison Fire Protection District  

Erie on the Park High-Rise Chicago Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system on the 14th floor of the 24-story, 125-unit residential high-rise contained a fire to one unit. The building was required by the city to install fire sprinklers when it was completed in 2002. Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, says that the successful fire sprinkler activation is an excellent reminder of the life-saving benefits that fire sprinkler provide in high-rises. Read the full story NIFSAB  

Single-Family Home Park Ridge Fire Department

Two fire sprinklers quickly extinguished a flash fire at the single-family home in Park Ridge.

According to Park Ridge Fire Marshal Kevin Plach, the home’s fire sprinkler system prevented an estimated $80,000 in property damage. Read the full story NIFSAB  

Ballard Rehabilitation North Maine Fire Protection District

A single fire sprinkler controlled a mattress fire at the skilled nursing facility in Des Plaines until fire crews provided final extinguishment. The fire sprinkler system contained the fire to a single room on the second floor and prevented major damage and possible deaths.

Read the full story NIFSAB  

Joe’s Place Marengo Fire Protection District

One fire sprinkler contained a fire in a dryer at the restaurant. The business was up and running after a short closing for cleanup. Miguel Romo Incendio Fire Protection  

Valli Produce Glenside Fire Protection District

Three fire sprinkler extinguished an early morning electrical fire that began in a storage room of the grocery store that contained cardboard and styrofoam. The sprinklers were promptly replaced and the system was restored to service. The store opened at its normal time. John Andrews, President, Central States Automatic Sprinklers  

January 2015

 

Commercial Warehouse Bedford Park Fire Department

Twelve fire sprinklers in in the commercial warehouse extinguished a fire that began when a welder conducting maintenance on a semi-trailer ignited a small fire that quickly engulfed the semi-trailer. The Bedford Park Fire Department said the system, “worked like a champion.” “The fire department and owner were extremely impressed with the quick extinguishment of the fire,” said Gavin Hansen, service and inspection manager for F.E. Moran Fire Protection. After the activated fire sprinklers were replaced, the sprinkler system was back up and running within 8 hours so business could continue. F.E. Moran Fire Protection  

Apartment Building Normal Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the apartment building prevented a clothes dryer fire from spreading until fire crews arrived. No injuries were reported. Pantagraph  

December 2014

 

Adler Place High-Rise Chicago Fire Department

A single fire sprinkler controlled a stovetop grease fire on the 23rd floor of the Adler Place residential high-rise on Chicago’s Near South Side. The condo owner failed to extinguish the fire, but the fire sprinkler quickly responded to prevent the fire from spreading. Read the full story NIFSAB  

Mario Tricoci Chicago Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system contained a fire in a dryer at Mario Tricoci Salon & Day Spa on 900 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The upscale salon is located in the 900 North Michigan Shops building. “Had there been no fire sprinkler system to stop the fire as it grew, it could have easily caused more damage,” states Tom Lia, fire safety advocate and executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. “Fire sprinklers saved the day for this well-known salon on the Mag Mile,” adds Lia. NIFSAB  

Premium Wood Products DeKalb Fire Department

A fire near a bin for collecting dust and wood shavings was controlled by the building until fire crews arrived to fully extinguish it. The business was able to resume operations following the fire. Daily Chronicle  

Costco Schaumburg Fire Department

The retail store’s fire sprinkler system extinguished a fire caused by two light fixtures. Arlington Cardinal  

Commercial Building Naperville Fire Department

A single sprinkler contained a fire that was caused by a hanging heater in an engineering room. No injuries were reported. Naperville Patch  

November 2014

 

Carson Pirie Scott North Riverside Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system at the North Riverside Park Mall contained a fire at the store’s loading dock until fire crews arrived and fully extinguished the fire. The fire, which appeared to have begun in merchandise store racks stored on the loading dock, was kept from spreading due to the quick response of fire sprinklers. The other businesses in the mall were open as usual. “The fire sprinkler system really saved the day for the retailers in the mall as they are leading into the all-important holiday shopping season,” states fire safety advocate and executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. “Had fire sprinklers not been present, the fire likely would have spread to other businesses and caused much more damage, leading to months of restoration. It could have created an enormous loss of sales for the retailers and a hard-hitting loss in sales tax for the village.” Read the full story NIFSAB  

Strip Mall Lombard Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the building contained a fire to a single tenant space until fire crews arrived and fully extinguished the fire. The fire, which appeared to have begun in a sauna room, was kept from spreading due to the quick response of fire sprinklers. The fire damage was estimated to be less than $3,000 and was limited to the immediate area of the sauna room. The proprietor of the facility anticipated to reopen for business the very same day. The other businesses in the building were not affected and were open as usual. Chuck Riforgiate, Fire Marshal, Lombard Fire Department  

October 2014

 

University Club Chicago Fire Department

Two fire sprinklers controlled a fire to its area of origin in a second-floor meeting room of the historic high-rise in the Loop neighborhood. Read the full story ChicagoFireMap.net  

University of Illinois – Roger Adams Laboratory Urbana Fire Department

Before fire crews arrived on scene, a fire in an electrical closet of the laboratory had already been put out by the fire sprinkler system. No one was injured. The News-Gazette  

Eifeler Lafer St. Charles Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the manufacturing building kept a fire in check St. Charles Fire Department news release  

September 2014

 

Archer Daniels Midland Peoria Fire Department

A fire near a grain silo where a worker had been welding in the plant’s corn processing area was contained by the building’s fire sprinklers system. Together, firefighters and the sprinkler system extinguished the blaze. Workers returned on site within an hour of the fire call. “There were no injuries, and the plant is continuing to run as planned,” said company spokesperson Jackie Anderson. Peoria Journal Star  

Apartment Building Berwyn Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in a three-story, 14-unit apartment building controlled a fire caused by unattended stovetop cooking in one unit, while the occupant showered. The reported loss from the fire was only $2,000. The success of the fire sprinkler activation was a much different story than a fire that occurred in the building in 2011. At that time, the building was unsprinklered and suffered a fire that put it into eventual foreclosure. Fortunately, it was later purchased and the fire department championed fire sprinklers to the building department. The building department agreed to require fire sprinklers in the building when it was rehabbed and they were installed in 2014. Read the full story Denis O’Halloran, Fire Chief, Berwyn Fire Department  

Back Alley Burger Elmhurst Fire Department

The restaurant’s fire sprinkler system kept a fire under control that was caused by a gas fire from a gas line repair. Three people were injured from the initial fire but the sprinkler system kept it from spreading and hurting others. Chicago Tribune  

Air Traffic Control Center Aurora Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system in the air traffic control center controlled an intentionally set fire in the basement before it was able to spread.

“Had fire sprinklers not been present, the fire could have resulted in significant damage that could affect national air travel for months or maybe even longer,” says Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. “That’s why it’s important that all air traffic control towers and other high-risk buildings, be protected with fire sprinklers, to prevent major catastrophes — whether by arson or terrorism,” adds Lia. Read the full story NIFSAB  

August 2014

 

Northrop Grumman Rolling Meadows Fire Department

The fire sprinkler system fully contained a fire caused by an electrical explosion in a large mechanical room in the 300,00-square-foot facility. It appeared that an electrical panel caused an arc fire. “The good design of the building and the suppression did its job well in containing the fire,” said Rolling Meadows Fire Chief Scott Franzgrote. “The masonry of the room and the sprinklers prevented it from being a bigger incident.” Journal & Topics Newspapers  

July 2014

 

Granite City Food & Brewery Orland Fire Protection District

Two fire sprinklers helped control a small fire in the brewing room of the restaurant/craft brewery from spreading to the kitchen and dining areas. No injuries were reported. Fire officials said the fire would have caused significantly more damage if it were not for the sprinkler system. SouthtownStar  

Personalization Mall Tri-State Fire Protection District

The fire sprinkler system at the business held a fire in check that had occurred in the computer offices. The two people who were in the building at the time safely evacuated. The Doings Weekly  

Fashion Outlets of Chicago Rosemont Public Safety Department

Two fire sprinkler helped control a car fire in the building’s parking garage until fire crews arrived. ChicagoFireMap.net  

Illinois Secretary of State – Department of Securities Springfield Fire Department

A fire that began due to discarded smoking materials in bushes outside engulfed the exterior of the building. But as the fire broke windows and began to enter the building, the fire sprinkler system activated and prevented it from doing so. State Journal-Register  

June 2014

 

Country Club Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District

The fire sprinkler system at a country club put out a fire. Brian McCarthy, Fire Marshal, Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District  

Quancor Virtual Sales & Marketing Rockford Fire Department

The call center’s fire sprinkler system prevented a fire from spreading after what appeared to be a homicide and arson. Rockford Register Star  

May 2014

 

Mixed-Use Building River Forest Fire Department

A residential fire sprinkler system confined a laundry room fire to the room of origin in a second-story condominium of the five-story building. The occupant of the condominium safely escaped. David Witken, Lieutenant, River Forest Fire Department  

March 2014

 

Condominium Schaumburg Fire Department

One sprinkler contained a fire that began in a bathroom fan. Michael Rons, Fire Marshal, Schaumburg Fire Department  

Industrial Building Schaumburg Fire Department

Two sprinklers contained a fire that began in a wall-mounted cooling unit. Michael Rons, Fire Marshal, Schaumburg Fire Department]]>

2015-08-13T20:23:30-06:00August 13th, 2015|0 Comments

Fire Sprinkler System Prevents Significant Damage in Northwest Rockford Apartment Fire

Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. Lia notes that the national model codes for multifamily buildings recognize the life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinklers and have included requirements for them since 2000. Over 120 communities in Illinois, including Rockford, follow the national model codes for sprinklered multifamily buildings, but some cities such as Chicago still fall behind the national model code recommendations. “The limited damage and, more importantly, the safe escape of residents, proves that fire sprinklers are important lifesaving devices that make a difference in fires,” states Lia. “Rockford made the right decision to invest in its future by protecting its residents, responding firefighters, and its multifamily buildings with fire sprinklers.” By following the national model code, Rockford follows a proclamation by U.S. President Barack Obama declaring May as Building Safety Month. It stated, “We are working . . . to ensure neighborhoods across our Nation adopt the most up-to-date building codes and standards that not only help protect individuals and their families, but also support the needs of our cities and towns.”  ]]>

2015-07-24T18:50:00-06:00July 24th, 2015|0 Comments

Smoke Detectors & Sprinkler Systems: Protecting Lives and Property

article in the July 2015 issue of The Chicagoland Cooperator dicusses the city of Chicago’s 2005 Life Safety Ordinance that requires all high-rises over 80 feet tall built before 1975 to be retrofitted with fire sprinkler systems. The article details buildings’ current compliance with the ordinance and features comments about the importance of fire sprinklers from Phil Zaleski, executive director of the nonprofit Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, and Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. Lia also notes the affordability of the systems. Read more about why fire sprinklers are needed in Chicago’s high-rises.]]>

2015-07-24T15:23:26-06:00July 24th, 2015|0 Comments

Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition Regroups, Hosts Summit at NFPA Conference & Expo

20150622_132341 In 2013, former National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) Regional Manager Bob Kleinheinz and Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) Executive Director Tom Lia joined together with Bob Tinucci, then-chief of the Roselle Fire Department, to establish the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition (IFSC). The group expanded the informal work that previously was being done to pass an Illinois Fire Services Association (IFSA) resolution in support of residential fire sprinklers. The IFSA comprises 13 fire-related groups as well as the sponsoring agency, the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA). The first meeting of the new IFSC drew representatives from these groups, with diverse attendance including the firefighters union, volunteer firefighters, fire districts and fire chiefs. While it had a promising beginning, the IFSC was in the very early stages of organization when the then-Illinois State Fire Marshal initiated an unexpected attempt to update a complete model code statewide, NFPA 101: Life Safety Code. It resulted in a major shift in work and outreach. The IFSC had only met once prior, with the second meeting necessarily focused on the statewide effort to upgrade the code. While the code update was unsuccessful, it prepared the IFSC for things to come. In 2014, the IFSC managed to stop a major effort to ban fire sprinklers in any new state code. Even though there were media blitzes and town hall meetings set up by fire sprinkler opponents, the subcommittee vote was held and the ban process was stopped, making it possible to continue to pass codes on a town-by-town, fire-district-by-fire-district basis as had been the fire service’s main focus for over a decade. Illinois Fire & Building Officials Day [caption id="attachment_4309" align="alignright" width="251"]20150622_093804 Newly appointed State Fire Marshal Matthew Perez speaks about the importance of home fire sprinkler protection.[/caption] With that behind and a new State Fire Marshal now appointed, the IFSC recently regrouped. To formally relaunch its activities and renew supporter interest, the IFSC brought more than 120 Illinois fire and building officials together during the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Conference & Expo held in Chicago in June 2015. The theme for the renewal of IFSC efforts was education. Priorities are education for the base firefighter, fire department, fire district and fire and building associations. Education is the necessary first step prior to opening up IFSC activities to other stakeholders. [caption id="attachment_4305" align="alignright" width="250"]20150622_073834 20150622_083648 20150622_084523TOP: Russ Sanders discusses NFPA resources for home fire sprinkler education. CENTER: NFSA’s Jason Webb discusses inspection, testing and maintenance of fire sprinkler systems. BOTTOM: Attorney Linda Pieczynski discusses liability for inspection, testing and maintenance.[/caption] NFPA Midwest Director Russ Sanders provided an update on all of NFPA’s programs and the varied support that is available. Due to considerable interest in maintenance issues on systems in Illinois, the meeting initially emphasized NFPA 25 and other inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) codes and standards. Jason Webb, director of ITM for NFSA, gave a detailed review of the need for regular testing as required in NFPA 25, and how to accomplish it. Attorney Linda Pieczynski offered an overview of the legal requirements, authority and liability of fire officials and building owners with regard to ITM compliance. The meeting shifted to a focus on residential fire sprinkler activities following a presentation by NFPA President Jim Pauley of a $10,000 Bringing Safety Home Grant to the IFSC. It was one of 16 grants awarded by NFPA to fund fire sprinkler advocacy campaigns in various states. The grant will fund a grassroots education program to educate the state’s elected officials by utilizing existing Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and NFPA materials. The generous award will help the IFSC educate the new state Representatives and Senators who have recently come into office; more than 47 percent of Illinois officials are newly elected since the last model code vote. [caption id="attachment_4308" align="alignright" width="251"]Members of the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition receive a "Bringing Safety Home Grant" from NFPA President Jim Pauley (left of check). 20150622_094623 TOP: Members of the Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition receive a “Bringing Safety Home Grant” from NFPA President Jim Pauley (left of check). BOTTOM: Illinois jurisdictions that passed home fire sprinkler ordinances were recognized.[/caption] Recognition awards were given to officials of Illinois jurisdictions that have instituted home fire sprinkler ordinances since Illinois’ last residential fire sprinkler summit, including Addison, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District, Brookfield, Elmwood Park, Evanston, Hazel Crest, Niles, Riverdale, Roselle, Westchester and Westmont. NIFSAB’s Tom Lia followed with a list of back-to-basics education programs for firefighter, homeowners and elected officials, with a particular focus on Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #15 and the need for fire sprinkler emphasis in fire departments’ interactions with the media following fires. [caption id="attachment_4312" align="alignright" width="251"]20150622_101005 20150622_105531 20150622_095506TOP: NIFSAB’s Tom Lia speaks about how fire sprinklers protect firefighters. CENTER: HFSC’s Peg Paul showed an educational home fire sprinkler video. BOTTOM: Vickie Pritchett talks about the advocates of Common Voices.[/caption] Peg Paul, communications manager for HFSC, gave a presentation on home fire sprinkler outreach and encouraged participants to utilize HFSC’s website and its free education materials, many of which were underwritten by past FEMA federal Fire Prevention & Safety grants. HFSC’s materials were created specifically to address the needs of firefighters, homebuilders, real estate agents, elected officials, homeowners and other interested parties. Vickie Pritchett, NFSA director of public education, updated participants on recent activities of Common Voices, an advocates’ coalition which uses fire and burn testimonial stories from those personally affected by fire to educate the public about the impact of fire. NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative communications manager Fred Durso provided an overview of the Fire Sprinkler Initiative, why it was developed, how it can help local sprinkler advocates, and how to receive regular updates and information on Initiative activities beyond visits to the website. NFPA’s western regional sprinkler representative Jeff Hudson, who serves as Illinois’ Fire Sprinkler Initiative representative, noted there are now 25 state coalitions and he discussed his role in supporting them, including Illinois, as a facilitator, administrator, coordinator, and scheduler — basically doing all of the groundwork necessary to take the operational burden off of the proponents and stakeholders. [caption id="attachment_4313" align="alignright" width="250"]20150622_102953 20150622_11293420150622_113909 TOP: Fred Durso discusses the resources available through the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative. CENTER: Jeff Hudson talks about the development of state fire sprinkler coalitions. BOTTOM: Tim Sashko embraces the Illinois Fire sprinkler Coalition on behalf of the Illinois fire service.[/caption] IFCA Executive Director Tim Sashko advised that the IFSA will take up the issue of residential fire sprinkler requirements and requested representation from the 13 member organizations during the IFSA’s summer meeting. The meeting concluded with participants in agreement that the renewal was a valuable kick-start to the growth and development of a new, stronger, more representative residential-focused Illinois Fire Sprinkler Coalition that will help lead Illinois into a fire-safe future.  ]]>

2015-07-01T16:14:41-06:00July 1st, 2015|0 Comments

Chicago Firefighter Doubles as Homebuilder Who Embraces Fire Sprinklers

[caption id="attachment_4166" align="alignnone" width="520"]Firefighter/homebuilder Kevin Fitzpatrick (3rd from left) worked with sprinkler contractor Greg Lay (3rd from right) to install fire sprinklers in the new home of his parents (1st, 2nd on left) in Alsip, Illinois. Also, pictured are Alsip Mayor Patrick Kitching (2nd from right) and Fire Chief Tom Styczynski (right). Firefighter/homebuilder Kevin Fitzpatrick (3rd from left) worked with sprinkler contractor Greg Lay (3rd from right) to install fire sprinklers in the new home of his parents (1st, 2nd on left) in Alsip, Illinois. Also, pictured are Alsip Mayor Patrick Kitching (2nd from right) and Fire Chief Tom Styczynski (right).[/caption] One might expect to find Chicago Firefighter Kevin Fitzpatrick fighting fires on the roofs of residences, but he’s also been seen installing fire-treated plywood on the roofs of new homes. As owner of Wilmot Builders, Fitzpatrick recently assisted with the build of a new, sprinkler-protected home for his parents, John and Lynn Fitzpatrick, in Alsip. The single-family home is an outcome of the village’s sprinkler ordinance, which is in accordance with NFPA 13D. [caption id="attachment_4167" align="alignright" width="321"]The Fitzpatricks' new sprinklered home in Alsip. The Fitzpatricks’ new sprinklered home in Alsip.[/caption] The build was a learning experience since it was Fitzpatrick’s first attempt at sprinklering a home. Fortunately, he saved money on the project by selecting a sprinkler contractor, Central States Automatic Sprinklers, that knew how to cost-effectively meet all 13D guidelines. For instance, the plumbing inspector cited the need for a reduced pressure zone backflow preventer, which would have meant additional costs. Since the system does not have a fire department connection, Fitzpatrick and his contractor discovered they did not need this type of preventer because there was no chance of non-potable water being pumped into the system. Therefore, a cheaper alternative was a double detector backflow preventer. Moreover, Fitzpatrick saved more money through the use of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipe. The plumbing inspector originally called for copper pipe but later reversed the decision due to the ceiling height and the spacing between the joists. [caption id="attachment_4168" align="alignright" width="321"]Sprinkler contractor Greg Lay (left) points out the fire sprinklers in the basement of the Fitzpatricks' new home as it is under construction. Sprinkler contractor Greg Lay (left) points out the fire sprinklers in the basement of the Fitzpatricks’ new home as it is under construction.[/caption]

Fitzpatrick’s initial plans were to install fire sprinklers in all rooms and spaces, but upon further review of NFPA 13D, he discovered that bathrooms under 55 square feet and closets under 24 square feet did not require sprinklers. He also discovered that he did not have to protect the attic (it wasn’t a finished, storage space and didn’t include heat-producing devices) or the garage.

To showcase the new home, Fitzpatrick allowed the Alsip Fire Department and the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) to host an open house for elected officials, village department heads, and staff. The attendees went on a tour of the home before drywall was installed so they could get a behind-the-walls view of the system. A live burn/sprinkler demonstration also took place in a fire sprinkler demonstration trailer to display how sprinklers save lives. At the end of the open house, NIFSAB gave the Fitzpatricks the fire sprinkler plans, a copy of the NFPA 13D booklet, and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s “Living with Sprinklers” Kit. NIFSAB gave Fitzpatrick information on the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation16 Firefighter Live Safety Initiatives.” Number 15 specifically calls for new home fire sprinkler installations and model code adoption to prevent firefighter deaths and injuries. That day, village officials and firefighters learned about the importance of NFPA 13D and adopting sprinkler requirements. Most importantly, John and Lynn Fitzpatrick now have peace of mind knowing that their son protected them with fire sprinklers.  
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2015-04-20T19:58:24-06:00April 20th, 2015|0 Comments