Sprinklers help save chip pan fire couple in tower block
25 February 2020
Sprinklers retrofitted in a high-rise block of flats in Doncaster helped to save the lives of two people, fire chiefs say.
A chip pan caught fire in one of the flats at Hatfield House in the borough at around 5.10am on Friday 21 February.
But fire sprinklers activated and suppressed the blaze, saving the flat and two people who were asleep inside.
Damage to the flat was limited to minor smoke and water damage, whilst the occupants suffered minor smoke inhalation.
Doncaster, Edlington and Adwick firefighters attended the incident. They worked hard to alert the residents to the fire, lead them to safety and make the scene safe. They left the incident just before 7am.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue head of emergency response Andy Strelczenie, said: “This incident is another example of how fire sprinklers can be a cost effective way of making certain types of residential dwellings safer – they stop fires from spreading, put them out quickly, save lives and have a long working life span.
“We’re proud of the reputation we’ve built nationally as a leading fire and rescue service for our long standing advocacy of the benefits of fire sprinklers.”
Arturo Gulla, director of property services at St Leger Homes, said: “We take fire safety and prevention in our buildings incredibly seriously, and this incident shows just how effective the sprinkler systems we installed with funding from Doncaster Council and the support of SYFRS are in reducing fire damage, and more importantly protecting the lives of people in our high-rise buildings.
“We have installed fully operational sprinkler systems in all nine of the high-rise buildings we manage across the borough, and we are proud to be one of the first housing organisations in the country to achieve this."
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has provided more than £1 million in match-funding fire sprinkler projects over the last five years. The service spent the money fitting fire sprinklers in around 650 flats across the county in a bid to prompt owners of accommodation for mostly vulnerable residents to consider fire sprinklers as a long term measure to keep their tenants safe.
Fire sprinklers in residential buildings remain topical with the second phase of the Grenfell Tower inquiry now underway and a review of building fire safety regulations ongoing.