Photo: Inside a burnt apartment
On Friday, August 4, at approximately 6:00 PM, the Prescott Regional Communication Center (PRCC) received a 911 call regarding fire alarms and sprinklers being activated in the Prescott Lakes Senior Living Community. Shortly after the initial call, the PRCC began receiving additional calls of fire and black smoke visible from his third-floor apartment. Due to the size of the building and the number of occupants, the quota was upgraded to his second alarm. This upgraded mission consisted of 7 engines, 2 truck companies, 3 ambulances, 1 drone, and 2 battalion commanders.
The Prescott Police were the first to arrive on the scene, and their decisive action may have saved the lives of residents of the apartment and adjoining residences. The first engine company to arrive found smoke and fire in a third-floor apartment building and an evacuation being carried out. Firefighters have set up ladders outside the complex to allow quick access to the burning apartments. With the help of the installed fire sprinkler system, the fire brigade was able to put out the fire quickly and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the complex. Additional fire engines arrived on the scene to help clear the smoke and evacuate the elderly residents. Several residents were unable to evacuate their apartments due to the demographics of the apartment complex. The decision to evacuate these residents in place was made by fire officials after it was determined that there was no immediate harm to them. After about 30 minutes, firefighters determined the fire was out. An officer from the Prescott Police Department was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.One resident of the complex suffered from fainting [fainting] Post-evacuation episode. The patient was transferred by AMR to the Yavapai Regional Medical Center for further evaluation. There were no additional injuries in the incident.
Unfortunately, the fire sprinkler system and the amount of water released by firefighters caused extensive flooding on all three floors of the complex, including powering half of the complex. An electrical room was also included. Firefighters, the City of Prescott Building Department and the utility company have determined that it is not safe for affected residents to return to their apartments. But if the sprinkler system had not been installed, the outcome of the incident would have been very different. The fire in this apartment was extinguished by his one sprinkler head, which was quickly activated, aiding the firefighting efforts. According to a National Fire Service report, sprinklers successfully contain fire spread to the source room 95 percent of the time in buildings with sprinkler systems, compared to those without sprinkler systems. 71 percent in buildings. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. It has not yet been determined how long the affected parts of the complex will be without power.
A temporary shelter was set up at the Humboldt Unified School District office in Prescott Valley with the support of the Yavapai County Emergency Management Department and the Red Cross. The incident forced the evacuation of about 90 residents and several pets, many of whom stayed at the homes of local family and friends or in local hotels. Eleven residents chose to stay in Red Cross shelters.
The Prescott Fire Department is staffed by the Prescott Regional Communication Center, Prescott Police Department, Central Arizona Fire and Medical Department, Prescott City Buildings, AMR, Yavapai Emergency Management, Red Cross, Arizona Crisis Management Team, and Prescott Lakes Apartments. The success of any event is a direct result of the professionalism and pre-established relationships of all involved.