Office of the State Fire Marshal
State Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy
Captain Jason Berry
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax
*** For Immediate Release***
August 29, 2011
Contact: Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Karen Jones
Phone: 360) 596-3906
Automatic Sprinkler Activation and Fast Acting Staff
- Credited with Saving Lives in Boarding Home -
The Office of the State Fire Marshal announced that a fire occurred on August 19, 2011, at Van Mall Retirement Community, a state licensed boarding home in Vancouver. Major life safety and structure loss was avoided because the facility had a fire sprinkler system and the staff took life saving action.
At approximately 09:45 a.m. a shredder caught on fire in a resident room. The resident left to get a fire extinguisher. The fire alarm activated and staff responded immediately to the fire area. They closed the door and kept the resident from re-entering the room. Next, they evacuated all residents from the smoke compartment (or fire area). The fire sprinkler system activated and extinguished the fire. Within minutes the fire department was at the retirement center.
The resident whose room caught fire was treated for smoke inhalation and a resident across the hall was treated for chest pains. The fire caused $20,000 in structural damage and $12,000 in loss of content, according to a release from the Vancouver Fire Department.
The Van Mall staff reported that a recent fire safety class presented by Deputy State Fire Marshal Dan Young taught them the importance of fire drills.; After taking the class, staff applied what they learned and conducted their fire drills as if there were a real fire. When a real fire did happen, they were prepared and did an excellent job stopping the spread of smoke and keeping residents safe.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal is a Bureau of the Washington State Patrol, providing fire and life safety services to the citizens of Washington State including inspections of state licensed facilities, plan review of school construction projects, licensing of fire sprinkler contractors and pyrotechnic operators, and training Washington State’s firefighters.