Sprinklers Minimize Damage During Canadian Tire Fire

Inside the Blenheim Canadian Tire Store on 23 November 2017. Fire damage was mitigated due to the use of an automatic sprinkler system.Photo courtesy of Whitney Burk/Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services.

Inside the Blenheim Canadian Tire Store on 23 November 2017. Fire damage was mitigated due to the use of an automatic sprinkler system.
Photo courtesy of Whitney Burk/Chatham-Kent Fire and Emergency Services.

(BLENHEIM, ON) – Firefighters from Station No. 18 were called to the Blenheim Canadian Tire just after 6am on the morning of November 23. Crews arrived on scene to a smoke filled building and crews from Station No. 11 in Ridgetown and Station No. 14 from Erieau were called to assist.

Firefighters conducted an interior attack and located the fire in the center of the store. As they began to extinguish the blaze the sprinkler system discharged.

“This incident has proven once again that fire suppression systems such as sprinklers provide another layer of defense against the dangers of fire,” said Assistant Chief Chris Case. “The activation of the system in this case managed to contain the fire and prevent it spreading. Systems such as these protect lives and livelihoods.”

Automatic sprinkler systems have sustained an enviable record of protecting life and property for over 100 years, yet there are still common misunderstandings about the operation and effectiveness of automatic fire sprinkler systems.

“A number of people believe that water damage from a sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage or that when a fire occurs every sprinkler head goes off,” explained CKFES public educator Whitney Burk. “This is not the case. Water damage from a building sprinkler system is less severe than the damage caused by a fire that is able to spread and sprinkler heads are individually activated by temperature.”

The cause of the fire was deemed to be accidental, though damages are still being calculated.

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