Sprinklers, alarm prevent Christmas casualties

Three apartments suffer minor water damage but sprinklers contain fire to kitchen on Dec. 25

VISALIA – Nobody goes to bed Christmas Eve thinking about how well their fire alarm and sprinkler systems work or when was the last time they were inspected. That’s because most of them are properly inspected on a schedule.

Building inspections can prevent property damage, insurance hikes and, more importantly, save lives. A major part of inspections are ensuring fire alarms and sprinkler systems work.

At least one apartment complex is thankful that they do, otherwise Christmas could have ended in a tragedy more serious tragedy than just losing some presents.

At about 1:15 p.m. on Dec. 25, the Visalia Fire Department responded to a report of a fire alarm in a multi-story apartment building in the 100 block of West School Street. When fire units arrived, they only reported light smoke. After entering one of the apartments, they discovered a small fire in the kitchen which had been extinguished by the sprinkler system “averting a potentially serious fire,” the fire department said in a released statement.

Fire crews remained on scene for about three hours removing water from the apartment as well as the two apartments below. Seventeen firefighters responded to the fire on four engines, one ladder truck and a battalion chief. No injuries resulted from this incident.

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