Sprinklers extinguish fire at Raleigh Holiday Inn, cause water damage

sgilman@newsobserver.comNovember 29, 2013 

— A small fire in a failed heating unit in an unoccupied room at the Holiday Inn on Glenwood Avenue on Thursday night caused extensive damage, but not because of the flames.

Fire sprinklers doused the entire 10th floor of the building, soaking carpets, furniture and wallpaper. Damage extended to an estimated 25 percent of the building, according to a Raleigh Fire Department report.

About 70 firefighters arrived at the hotel just before 9 p.m. Thursday, but the sprinklers had already quenched the flames. No one was injured.

Most of the damage was from the sprinkler system, said Capt. Justin Hicks of the Raleigh Fire Department. Once a fire activates the system, he said, the sprinklers will continue to pour water until someone shuts them off.

“They are designed to put a fire out, and the only way they can do that is to flow a lot of water,” Hicks said. “Each one is designed to flow 40 gallons a minute.”

The hotel was open for business Friday.

Hotel manager Shelly Nowell was finding rooms for a crowd of people in town for the Mid South Pop Warner football game at Garner Magnet High School. Nowell said hotel workers did not know much about the flood.

“We’re just trying to take care of people as best as we can,” she said.

Alvin Sellars, the hotel’s general manager, declined to comment.

Workers from Kustom, a disaster recovery service, hauled fans and dehumidifiers to the damaged rooms. Workers had torn up soaked carpets from several of the rooms and at least half of one of the hallways.

Gilman: 919-829-8955

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