Staff Reports –
At 7:33 PM Sunday evening (3/25/12) firefighters from the Greeley Fire Department were called to 2699 47th Av (Weld County Garage) in Greeley on a fire alarm. Upon their arrival, responding fire crews found the fire alarm system activated and no signs of fire from the outside of the building. Upon gaining access to the business, which was closed and unoccupied, fire crews began searching the building and discovered a smoke smell coming from the “wash bay” area. As they got closer, fire crews could hear water running and eventually found a fire sprinkler head had been activated and had extinguished a fire in an electric vehicle. Fire crews closed the sprinkler valve to stop the water flow and began opening doors to ventilate the smoke from the building. Upon closer investigation it was determined that a fire had started in an electric vehicle which generated enough heat to activate 2 fire sprinkler heads above the vehicle which ultimately extinguished the fire. No other sprinklers flowed water or created water damage. The exact cause of the vehicle fire remains under investigation and total damage is estimated @ $7,000 ($2,000 property damage and $5,000 contents damage in the fire area). No injuries were reported.
Statistics show that when fires occur in a building with a fire sprinkler system, 88% of those fires are extinguished by 1 or 2 sprinkler heads. It is a common myth, often seen in movies, that when a fire occurs in a sprinkler protected building, all heads flow water. This isn’t true and this fire is a good example of how fire sprinklers are designed to operate.