ORLAND PARK, Ill., March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- On Thursday, March 14, Roselle fire crews, with assistance from Bloomingdale Fire Protection District firefighters and the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB/NFSA), conducted an educational home fire sprinkler demonstration in a home acquired for structure burns for fire training. Simulated candle fires were set in two rooms of the home, which were similarly furnished with couches, chairs, desks and computer monitors. However, one room was equipped with a quick-response home fire sprinkler, while the other was unprotected.
In the room protected with a fire sprinkler, the extreme heat from the fire caused fire sprinkler activation in as little as 25 seconds, which subsequently extinguished the fire with minimal water, limiting extreme heat and toxic fumes. Fire damage was contained to the trash bin that the fire began in, a window drape and a small portion of drywall. Although the floor and furniture were slightly saturated with water, they remained unscathed by the fire, and could be salvaged with a wet vacuum.
In the unsprinklered room, the fire was started in the trash bin and spread to the window drape and to one of the couches, burning hotter, and churning out black smoke. Within minutes the temperatures reached over 1500°F and the room turned to flashover, the point at which everything in the room ignites in flames. The fire broke through the windows and licked the outdoor eaves of the house, climbing into the attic. After fire crews extinguished the unsprinklered fire with multiple hose lines, smoke continued to pour out of the room and throughout the rest of the house. The room was uninhabitable. The walls were completely charred by the fire and damaged by the force of the fire hoses, while the floor was waterlogged. What remained of the couches were skeleton frames and the computer monitor resembled molten plastic and glass.