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Kitchen fire causes at least $10,000 damage, but sprinkler system minimized damage

Kitchen fire causes at least $10,000 damage, but sprinkler system minimized damage

Fitchburg fire photo

Damage to a kitchen where hot oil sparked a fire in Fitchburg early Saturday.

A sprinkler system at a Fitchburg apartment building is being credited for saving lives and more than $1 million in property losses after a fire started early Saturday on a kitchen stove, the Fitchburg Fire Department said.

A water overflow alarm at 12:26 a.m. at an apartment on Halite Way initiated the Fire Department’s response. In the meantime, a fire was reported in the building.

Crews found smoke and water coming from one of the five apartments in the building, and smoke detectors were sounding. The building’s fire alarm and sprinkler system were also activated. The fire was controlled by a single sprinkler head but had extended to the range hood and some of the kitchen cabinets.

The resident told firefighters about starting to warm a pan of oil on the stove and then falling asleep in a nearby chair. The resident was awakened by the alarms and evacuated safely, along with two dogs. No injuries were reported.

The resident and the dogs were displaced, but occupants of the other four units were able to stay in their apartments.

The fire caused $10,000 to $20,000 damage, but the Fire Department said the sprinkler system saved up to $1.2 million in property and contents.

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