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Keswick Village apartments saved by sprinkler system
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An automatic fire alarm and sprinkler system saved the Keswick Village apartments, built during the 1996 Oympics, from serious fire damage on Tuesday afternoon.

Rockdale County firefighters received an alert of an apartment fire around 3:05 p.m.

“Once crews made it inside, they found that the fire had been extinguished by the sprinkler system that is in place. The fire started on the stove in the kitchen due to a pot being left on the stove,” wrote Rockdale County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Michael Morris.

The fire on the stove activated the automatic sprinkler system and fire alarm in the kitchen, which extinguished the fire.

No one was reported injured in the fire and the family was able to evacuate the building. Fire damage was contained to the kitchen area, and the vent hood and stove were pulled out of the apartment. There was water damage to the apartment, however, and the apartment complex had a water removal company come in to start he clean up process and Red Cross was called to assist the family living in the apartment.

The Keswick Village apartments, located in the Georgia International Horse Park, housed representatives of companies that helped sponsor the building of the GIHP, which hosted equestrian and mountain biking events for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Morris pointed out the importance of having the automatic sprinkler system and detection system. “Due to the sprinkler head suppressing the fire, Engine one and Ladder one was able to cancel all other responding units. That also allowed those units to go in service for other calls that could have come in during the course of the fire,” he wrote.

He also emphasized the importance of having an escape plan and practicing that plan in night time and day time. “In the event of a fire, remember that every second counts, so you and your family must always be prepared. Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames.”

The department encourages residents to install smoke alarms, test the alarms monthly, replace batteries at least once a year, and replace the smoke alarm itself if it is older than ten years, and to have and practice a Home Escape Plan.

“Draw a map of each level of your home and be sure to show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily. Teach all children how to escape on their own if now one is available to assist them in getting out. Ensure that you have a safe meeting place outside your home. Once you are outside, it’s very important to remain outside,” wrote Morris.

For more information or questions, contact Rockdale County Fire and Rescue at 770-278-8401.