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February 21, 2017

VT Fire Safety Press Release - Sprinkler Suppression Success

Vermont Department of Public Safety
Division of Fire Safety

Press Release
February 21, 2017

Contact: Vermont Division of Fire Safety: 802-479-7587

Fire Sprinkler System Extinguishes Fire at Industrial Building – Example of Importance of Such Systems

A fire at an industrial building in Rutland left minimal damage to the property thanks in part to a well-maintained fire suppression sprinkler system.  The February 16 fire occurred in Questech Labs, a business within GSM Properties at 92 Park Street in Rutland.

Rutland City Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 8:51 PM after alarms within the building began to sound.  The first units on scene reported audible fire alarms sounding with light smoke conditions and an odor of something burning on the second floor. While investigating, crews noticed heavier smoke conditions and the sound of sprinklers dispensing water in Questech Labs on the second floor.  Inside the lab, two sprinkler heads had activated extinguishing the fire within the room.

Crews ventilated the structure and turned off the sprinkler system.  No extension of fire was found outside the Questech Lab. The origin of fire was located next to a shop vacuum located in the lab. The cause of and dollar loss due to the fire is undetermined.  However, initial reports indicate damage was limited to water and smoke inside the lab.  There were no injuries.

GSM Properties is a large industrial building housing several businesses including: Questech, Green Mountain Window, Vermont Food Bank, Stratabond, and Tatum’s Totes.  Those businesses employ approximately 80-90 people inside the building, and all of the companies were able to open as scheduled the following day without interruption to their business.

This event illustrates the benefits of a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system.  The fire was contained to the point of origin, which minimized property damage, curtailed the risk to first responders, and ensured businesses in the building could open as usual – and employees had a place to work.