Sprinkler system extinguishes fire on apartment balcony

A sprinkler system helped control a fire sparked by a discarded cigarette at a Columbus apartment building last night, firefighters say.

According to the Columbus Fire Department, they were called to the St. Barts Apartments on Sycamore Street at about 6:47 p.m. Monday evening after a fire alarm activated. Firefighters arrived to find water from a sprinkler head flowing from a third-floor balcony. After using a ladder to climb to the balcony, they discovered minor fire damage on the outside of the building and smoldering cardboard boxes.

The tenant of the apartment told firefighters that he had been smoking on the balcony about 30 minutes earlier and had been storing the cardboard boxes on the balcony after a recent move. He said he believed the cigarette had been completely extinguished before discarding it in the boxes.

Captain Dave Dwyer says that with plenty of fuel and oxygen, the fire would have quickly grown if it weren’t for the sprinkler system kicking in.

Damages to the building were estimated at less than $5,000.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department