By David Kurasz, executive director of the New Jersey Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board
Several homes on Rebecca Place in Elizabeth were severely damaged during an early morning fire on Nov. 2 that left 12 to 15 people searching for a new place to spend the night. The blaze gutted a two-and-a-half-story wood-frame home and damaged the roofs and top stories of neighboring homes.
The fire escalated to four alarms within an hour as crews initially contended with a lack of water from nearby hydrants. Crews from Elizabeth, Union, Linden, Newark, Rahway and Roselle assisted mutual aid and cover. Thankfully all residents were able to escape unharmed.
Properly installed and maintained fire sprinklers control and typically extinguish a fire before the fire department even arrives on the scene. More importantly, the presence of fire sprinklers mitigates the risk to individuals affected by the blaze, including firefighters who battle the fire.
Fire sprinklers are the only proactive form of fire protection, providing firefighters the time they need to do their jobs effectively and as safely as possible while helping to avoid potential tragedies.
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