Sprinkler quells fire, but unstopped water damages Dakine, Full Sail

The Dakine showroom, at 408 Columbia Ave., suffered a fire Saturday.

Fire Chief Devon Wells said in a press release that the fire department was never summoned and an active fire sprinkler head continued to operate all night.

Fire crews were called Sunday at approximately 8 a.m. to investigate a fire that was discovered that morning. Upon arrival, fire crews found a fire fully extinguished by a single fire sprinkler in the Dakine showroom.

The fire was confined to a small portion of one wall, with minor smoke damage to the remaining products in the show room. However, water damage from the operating fire sprinkler had reached throughout the first floor of the Dakine business and downstairs to the inventory warehouse of Full Sail Brewing Company, which owns the building.

A large ceiling-mounted electric heater was found to be the cause, according to Wells and Fire Marshal Peter Mackwell, who investigated.

They said an electrical failure of one of the heating elements caused a shower of sparks and molten aluminum to fall down onto the backpacks and garments on the showroom walls below, starting the fire.

“Fire sprinklers saved this building,” Wells said. “The fire was quickly put out and fire damage was kept to a minimum.” However, it is estimated that the water damage may cost more than $300,000 to repair.

“Even though the sprinkler system worked correctly, the fire alarm system did not initiate an emergency call, so we were never notified,” said Wells.

“We would have been on scene in five minutes, stopping the water flow and limiting the damage to the show room.”

Dakine and Full Sail officials could not be reached for comment.

Fire sprinkler systems are connected to the building alarm system so when a water flow is detected, the alarm system sounds, simultaneously alerting the alarm monitoring company that there is a potential problem.

The alarm company then notifies the 9-1-1 center, who send the fire department. By national standards, this notification system works in less than five minutes from the time alarm activation occurs.

During the investigation, Mackwell noted that the alarm panel had received notification from the sprinkler system that there was a flow detected. However, the system did not finish the process and the sprinkler head continued to flood approximately 30 gallons per minute for almost 12 hours.

“We are huge proponents of fire sprinklers in all buildings, including homes,” said Wells. “It’s unfortunate that the alarm system didn’t call us immediately. We could have helped prevent much more of this damage from occurring.”

Mackwell reminds all businesses with sprinklers and alarm systems to have their systems checked and tested regularly.

“The systems were tested in December 2012 and were functioning correctly then,” he said. “Unfortunately, when an emergency happened, it didn’t perform as designed.”

Hood River Fire & EMS asks that anyone with questions regarding the function or testing of their fire sprinklers or fire alarm systems contact Mackwell.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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