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Public Safety - Fire and Rescue

Posted on: December 11, 2017

Automatic Fire Sprinklers Prevent Further Damages at Local High School

For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer
[email protected] or 571-233-1649
December 11, 2017

For Immediate Release:
Automatic Fire Sprinklers Prevent Further Damages at Local High School

A fire overnight at Dominion High School in Sterling was held in check by the school’s automatic sprinkler system. 
Sunday, December 10th, at approximately 11:15 p.m., two fire and rescue units from Cascades and Sterling Park were dispatched to Dominion High School for an automatic fire alarm. There were no signs of smoke or fire from the exterior however firefighters encountered a burning odor once they entered the school. Further investigation found smoke coming from a classroom and the incident was upgraded to a structure fire bringing additional resources from Kincora, Ashburn, Fairfax County and several command officers.  
Firefighters located a small fire in a science classroom on the main floor of the school with automatic fire sprinklers activated.  Firefighters used a portable extinguisher to extinguish the remaining fire.  A total of three sprinkler heads inside the single classroom activated and kept the fire in check.  
Due to the sprinkler activation, the classroom of origin and the classrooms directly below in the lower level experienced minor water damage, but the damage attributed to the fire itself was minimal. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the fire to be accidental in nature, originating in the science classroom. Damage estimates are not available at this time.   
This incident is a prime example of the positive impact of a fire protection alarm and automatic sprinkler system.  A small fire in a classroom triggered the school’s monitored fire alarm system, which alerted firefighters, while the fire was quickly contained and extinguished by an automatic sprinkler system.  The damages to the building were minimized by the sprinkler system, allowing the school to remain open with little impact to the community and its students. 
Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Officials continue to tout the importance of automatic fire sprinkler systems and their safety benefits. For more information on fire prevention activities and education in Loudoun County, visit www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal or call 703-737-8600.


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