|Sprinkler system averts major damage
Alert neighbors and a residential sprinkler system are responsible for saving an Arlen Drive apartment building from major fire damage. A neighbor called 911 at approximately 4:20 p.m. Monday, July 21 reporting smoke coming from the back of a residence two doors away. The first of several Rohnert Park police officers arrived a minute later and reported seeing heavy black smoke coming from the two-story apartment building on Arlen Drive. The officer found the front door locked and received no answer after pounding on the door.
As the fire engines arrived, patrol officers forced their way into the downstairs unit, finding it empty. The firefighters then conducted their own search for occupants while the officers made sure all the occupants of the five attached apartments vacated the premises.
Firefighters found the fire in the kitchen contained to the counters, cabinets and dishwasher. Once the smoke and heat had reached the residential sprinkler system, they activated and kept the fire in check.
The gas and power were shut off and the fire was quickly contained. The residents arrived home as the firefighters were extinguishing the fire, and preliminary investigation indicates the fire started behind the dishwasher after the residents started a load of dishes and left the house.
The smoke, fire and water caused an estimated $25,000 in damage. The fire caused no injuries, and no other units suffered any damage. The American Red Cross provided the family with temporary lodging.