New NFPA campaign puts a face on the lifesaving impact of home sprinklers

Blog Post created by mikehazell Employee on Oct 26, 2010

Personal stories of those who have been affected by fires in the home - like Princella Lee-Bridges of Greenville, SC - are part a new NFPA campaign to promote the required installation of fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes. The campaign, called "Faces of Fire", was unveiled this morning at a conference in Boston that drew fire and building officials from around the country.

In March 1992, Princella Lee-Bridges was busy with the evening’s chores of making dinner and helping her daughter with homework when her son ran into the room to tell her the home’s heating unit was on fire. Princella went for the fire extinguisher, but quickly realized that it was time to get her family out of the burning house. Using their escape plan, the family sought safety outside.

“My son and my dad went out, and so did I. And I just assumed that my daughter went with us,” Princella says. “That’s not what happened.”

When Princella, an operating room nurse and Desert Storm veteran, didn’t see her daughter outside, she panicked. She shouted to nearby firefighters that her daughter was still inside, then ran back into the burning home to rescue her on her own. In the meantime, firefighters had found her daughter and had begun treating her for smoke inhalation. The injuries that Princella suffered were much more serious. With burns on 49 percent of her body, Princella remained in a coma for two months.

Princella's story - along with the personal stories of other home fire survivors, family members of victims, first responders and homeowners whose property has been protected by fire sprinklers, are all being featured in the Faces of Fire campaign. Through video interviews, photographs and written profiles available online, Faces of Fire is a resource for local advocates and fire personnel, putting personal stories front and center during consideration of fire sprinkler mandates.

See more Faces of Fire stories and learn how to become a fire sprinkler advocate in your community.

- Mike Hazell