Fire Officials Show The Benefits Of Fire Sprinkler Systems

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Flames engulfed the non-sprinklered room in less than one minute. As Lt. Chuck Hartung pointed out to the audience, once the fire “flashes over” in the room, anyone inside -- including firefighters – would not be able to survive.
Flames engulfed the non-sprinklered room in less than one minute. As Lt. Chuck Hartung pointed out to the audience, once the fire “flashes over” in the room, anyone inside -- including firefighters – would not be able to survive.
- photo by Bruce Garner

Chattanooga fire officials conducted a fiery demonstration Thursday showing the value of fire sprinkler systems. At the Fire Training Center on Amnicola Highway, Fire Marshal James Whitmire showed an audience of about 50 people two demonstration rooms, one with a sprinkler head and one without. Both rooms had furniture and related items one might find in a nightclub or other business. New city council members Chris Anderson, Larry Grohn and Jerry Mitchell were in attendance.

After describing the setup, Lt. Chuck Hartung began the demonstration, starting the fire in the non-sprinklered room. A large clock on display showed just how quickly the fire engulfed the room. Though firefighters would be on the way, Lt. Hartung pointed out that no one would be able to survive in such a hostile environment. Simulating an actual response, firefighters with Quint 10 quickly extinguished the flames.

It was then time to light the fire in the sprinklered room. The clock was restarted, but this time, long before the flames could engulf the room, the sprinkler head activated and the fire was extinguished. This incident, Lt. Hartung pointed out, was survivable.

Chief Whitmire acknowledged the new sprinkler ordinance is controversial, but when lives are at stake, the answer is clear. “Sprinklers save lives and property,” said Chief Whitmire, “and when you see how devastating these fires can be, they just make good sense.”

“Many people are aware of the nightclub fire in Brazil earlier this year that killed more than 200 people, or The Station Nightclub fire in Rhode Island in 2003 that killed 100 people,” said Chief Whitmire. “The same questions are asked after each event: How could this happen and how can we make sure it never happens again? This sprinkler ordinance goes a long way toward answering those important questions.”

The Chattanooga City Council approved the upgrade to the fire codes on June 28, 2012 that requires legally-defined nightclubs -- businesses with live entertainment that serve alcohol after 11 p.m. to 100 or more people – to install fire sprinkler systems by Dec. 31. Similar ordinances have already been implemented in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis.

Others in attendance included safety and security personnel width Cleveland State Community College, Southern Adventist University, Tennessee Temple University and UTC.

Click here to see a short clip of the demonstration.

Once the flames became visible in the sprinklered room, the sprinkler system activated and completely extinguished the fire. As Lt. Hartung pointed out, this fire was survivable.
Once the flames became visible in the sprinklered room, the sprinkler system activated and completely extinguished the fire. As Lt. Hartung pointed out, this fire was survivable.
- Photo2 by Bruce Garner

Broad Street Block Closure For Maintenance This Saturday

The northbound block of Broad Street will be closed between W. 6th Street and W. 7th Street from 7:30 a.m.-12:30 pm on Saturday for maintenance work.  In order to view a map of all closures, click here . (click for more)

Several Street Closures Are Scheduled For This Weekend

Friday, September 30 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival :  Closures for these events will be from  Noon  on  September 30th  to  8pm  on  Sunday, October 2nd ., and include Riverfront Pkwy. from Power Alley to E. Aquarium Way, Chestnut St. from W. Aquarium Way to Riverfront Pkwy. and Power Alley from Riverfront Pkwy. to just ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Files Petition To Declare 2 Gangs A Public Nuisance

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a petition on Monday asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances. General Pinkston is also "asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood." ... (click for more)

2 Boaters Die In Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning On Chickamauga Lake

Two boaters and their pet were pronounced dead at the scene of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake.  Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga were reported missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day by a concerned family member. The boaters had not been heard from since Saturday. Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Of Course Gangs Are A Public Nuisance

Now, I don't know it all.  Beginning with my parents, folks of all sorts have been actively pointing out my ignorance for more than seven decades now.  So I'm well aware that I don't know it all.  In recent months I've begun to develop an appreciation for the local work of Mr. Neal Pinkston; I've been impressed with several things he's been doing in his official ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Arnold Palmer’s Greatness

This is hardly meant to be flippant but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been in the presence of more great people than anyone you know. I’ve never ranked them, or ever dared to wonder who was the greatest, such as Muhammad Ali or Elvis Presley, but there are two traits that those who reach the highest pinnacle have in common. First, not a one of them was any good at what made them famous ... (click for more)