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Rockland responds to two fires at care facility, home

Sep 29, 2020

Rockland — Rockland's fire chief said a fire that broke out Monday night at the Woodlands Memory Care facility shows the importance of a sprinkler and alarm system.

The fire at the Camden Street facility was one of two fire calls within five hours of each other early Sept. 29.

The first was at Woodlands, reported to the department at 1:21 a.m.

The caller reported a fire in one of the commercial dryers. Upon arrival, there was smoke coming from the laundry area in the rear of the building. The initial crew was able to rapidly determine the issue was contained to the laundry area and that the smoke and fire was not extending into the occupied portion of the facility, Chief Chris Whytock said.

The Woodlands staff moved all residents to their “shelter in place” areas.

The crew then made entry to the laundry and found a small fire in one of the gas-fired commercial dryers, which was being contained by the building sprinkler system. The fire was quickly extinguished and the sprinkler was shut down after determining the fire had not spread from the dryer. The smoke was then cleared from the affected portion of the building and all mutual aid units were sent back to their towns.

Rockland crews remained on scene for a short time removing water from the laundry room and restoring the building alarms systems.

The fire was determined to have been caused by oily cooking towels being in the dryer after washing had not removed all the oil

The chief said the on duty staff at the Woodlands did an excellent job rapidly notifying the fire department and moving their residents to pre-established safety areas.

The sprinkler system contained the fire to the dryer utilizing just one sprinkler head. This coupled with the fire alarm system releasing self-closing doors kept multiple barriers between the smoky fire area and the occupied section of the building just down the hall. Due to the staff, sprinklers, and alarm system no residents were displaced and the incident was concluded in less than one hour.

At 6:16 a.m., fire crews responded to a minor electrical fire at a home at 75 Jameson Point Road.

Rockland crews were dispatched to a report of an activated fire alarm in the home. Upon arrival one of the two occupants met personnel and reported smoke in the basement. The second occupant was in the basement looking for a cause when crews entered.

Firefighters quickly found a condensation pump smoldering in the mechanical room and were able to disconnect if from power mitigating the incident without hoses or extinguishers. While this fire was small and contained, the amount of smoke was considerable as compared to the actual unit, due to the plastic materials ignited. Firefighters spent a few minutes utilizing a high power fan to remove the smoke from the finished basement of the home.

A smoke detector in the basement area activated and roused the occupants who found the smoke condition. The well-kept basement made for rapid access and ease of identifying the issue.

The chief reminded owners and occupants to be careful when searching for the cause of alarms and asked people take greater concern if any out of the ordinary conditions are encountered, as some smoldering fires are waiting for the right air influx which can be caused by persons not protected by turnout gear and trained to spot these conditions.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: ANANUR FORMA | Sep 29, 2020 12:27

Good reason not to have a cluttered basement. Make life simple.... get rid of stuff.



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