Thursday, December 24, 2015

Historic Downtown Prescott Hotel Fire Controlled by Fire Sprinklers


24 December 2015
  Don Devendorf

Historic Downtown Prescott Hotel Fire Controlled by Fire Sprinklers

A fire in a 56-room hotel could have been much worse.

On Wednesday December 23, 2015, at approximately 11:50 AM, the Prescott Regional Communications Center received multiple notifications of smoke coming from a third story room at the Downtown Prescott Inn, a 56 room extended stay hotel sharing space with two other businesses in the same building. The building, originally the A.J. Head Hotel, dates back to 1896.
Prescott Fire Department and the Central Yavapai Fire District personnel responded to the scene with 3 Engine companies, a Truck Company, a Battalion Chief, a Division Chief, a Utility truck, as well as the Prescott Police Department, Life Line Ambulance, and Fire Investigators. The first arriving fire engine, who was staged less than half a block away, in the rear of the structure, for a medical call, found smoke coming from the rear of the structure on the third floor. Prescott Police Department officers were also in the area for the same medical call and immediately began evacuating the three story structure. Fire personnel made access to the third floor by way of rear stairs in the alley to find heavy smoke on the upper floor. Upon entering the involved apartment, they found the fire under control because an automatic fire sprinkler head was flowing water directly over the fire. Crews assured that the fire was fully extinguished and remained on the scene for 3 hours evacuating water and assisting with getting the building back into working order, as much as possible, so that the least amount of tenants would have to be relocated. The investigation into the cause of the fire continues. There were no injuries from the fire but there were two medical calls that were handled at the scene during the fire. While only one apartment was affected by the fire itself, 10 living rooms were deemed unsafe to inhabit due to not being able to provide electricity to them while cutting power to the areas that water effected. There is no damage estimate as it is currently being evaluated.
There was a significant fire in the same structure in the late 70’s that caused a large section of the building to be damaged. An extensive remodel was undertaken in the early 80’s and subsequent improvements included the installation of fire alarm and fire sprinkler system. It was those systems that kept fire damage to a minimum and allowed the occupants to safely exit the building from this fire. 

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