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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Toaster Fire Quickly Extinguished at Health Care Center

WestportNow.com ImageA Westport firefighter tends to a fire sprinkler set off by a toaster oven fire today in the kitchen of the Westport Health Care Center. There were no injuries reported, and the building was not evacuated. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
(UPDATE)A fire touched off by a toaster oven in the kitchen of the Westport Health Care Center early today was quickly extinguished by the building’s fire suppression system, fire officials said.

The incident just before 6 a.m. at the elderly health care facility at 1 Burr Road on the corner of Post Road West also set off the fire alarm, but the building was not evacuated.

Assistant Fire Chief Larry Conklin said the 85 patients in the complex were “protected in place” while firefighters ventilated smoke from the kitchen area.

Firefighters checked all floors of the building, and there were no injuries to any of the staff or patients, he said. Fire officials said later that two plastic dishwasher trays left on top of the commercial toaster oven ignited, starting the fire.

The first call came at 5:51 a.m. as an automatic alarm at the complex, Conklin said. A few minutes later, the head nurse notified the fire department of a fire in the kitchen.

Westport police arrived on the scene within minutes and first arriving firefighters reported light smoke coming from the rear of the building.

“The main body of fire was extinguished by the sprinkler suppression system,” Conklin said. Firefighters checked for extension of the fire and none was found.

Residents of the facility were awakened by the fire alarm going off but remained calm, according to workers.

The toaster oven and immediate area were heavily damaged by the flames, Conklin said, and there was a moderate smoke condition in the kitchen and a minor smoke condition on the second floor.

Firefighters used postive pressure fans to clear smoke from the building and began salvage operations in the kitchen to clear out water and prevent further damage.

A representative of the Westport Weston Health District responded and said the kitchen had to be cleaned and sanitized before it could be put back into operation.

The fire mashal and one engine company remained on the scene until the sprinkler and fire alarms could be placed back in service, Conklin said.

Three engine companies, the ladder truck, and the command vehicle responded to the fire. The last unit cleared at 10:30 a.m.
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(An earlier version of this story was first posted at 6:40 a.m.)

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Posted 03/31/07 at 04:40 PM  Permalink



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