Sprinklers douse Aspen fire
November 13, 2009
ASPEN – There was a fire at The Gap in downtown Aspen Wednesday evening, but it’s not likely anyone noticed. The retail building’s sprinkler system doused the blaze before firefighters arrived.
“The sprinkler system extinguished the fire. We didn’t even have to spray it with water,” said Ed Van Walraven, Aspen fire marshal. “You rarely hear about sprinkler saves – you only hear about bad fires. I like to get this type of word out there.”
The fire call came into the fire station at about 5:30 p.m. The blaze ignited in the Galena Street building’s basement after an employee set empty cardboard boxes down next to the furnace, which apparently ignited the material, Van Walraven said.
When an employee spotted flames, firefighters were summoned and the building was evacuated, but the sprinkler system performed just as intended, the fire marshal said.
Damage was minimal and the clothing store didn’t even have to close, according to Van Walraven.
The furnace was being checked for a possible malfunction on Thursday, he said.