Fire Sprinkler is The Hero at Des Moines Apartment Fire Wednesday

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DES MONIES, Iowa – A single fire sprinkler prevented possibly another tragedy at Eddy Apartments.

The call came in at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday where a small fire broke out on the first floor in the laundry room.

Resident Myra McNeary said, “It was pretty scary because you really couldn’t see because it was up and ground level was clear. I was walking bent down so I didn’t get any smoke.”

It was a single fire sprinkler that contained the fire until crews arrived on scene.

Des Moines Fire Marshal Jonathan Lund said, “[A] sprinkler head typically activates 60 to 90 seconds after the fire starts and that provides valuable time for us to get there.”

A fire sprinkler is heat reacted and responds only when the fire is directly above a specific sprinkler.

“Residential sprinklers and like light hazard occupancy so like businesses and stuff typically about 13-17 gallons. Not a ton of water, but enough to get the job done,” Lund said.

The apartment complex fell victim to a fatal fire back in 2017.

“The building code that we had adopted at the time and fire codes say that repairing fire damage or a damaged building does not necessarily require you to put sprinklers in. It requires you to build it back the way it was,” Lund said.

After the 2017 fire, the owners renovated the building adding a fire sprinkler system.

“It’s much better now and they’ve got all the sprinklers and smoke alarms and stuff in place,” McNeary said.

No major injuries were reported. The fire is still under investigation.

Eddy Apartments is located at 1120 Polk Boulevard, Des Moines.


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