Jim and Leslie McDonald were enjoying a recent Tuesday afternoon when Leslie suddenly heard a loud bang. "I thought Jim had just put something up against the wall," Leslie told the Prescott, Arizona, Fire and Medical Department.
In actuality, it was the couple's neighbor banging on their door, screaming that their house was on fire. Leslie ran outside (Jim had been in the backyard) and saw smoke and flames shooting from their garage, which housed an SUV, classic car, motorcycle, radio-controlled airplanes, and other items. As she ran to get her garden hose, Leslie watched as the smoke transformed from black to white. Upon arrival, the engine company reported that the fire was completely extinguished.
The homeowners walked away from the incident unharmed. Moreover, sprinklers averted an estimated $600,000 in property damage. (Home structure fires caused an estimated $7 billion in direct property damage in 2012, according to NFPA.)
"As a firefighter, I've seen so many families sort through what is left of their lives and belongings after a fire," Don Devendorf, division chief for the Prescott Fire and Medical Department, stated in a press release. "They pack what they can salvage...for however long it takes to rebuild their homes and lives. It doesn't take a loss of life to adversely affect those who have gone through a fire. Not this time, though. It was a great feeling to see the little bit of water being swept out of the garage, as Jim offered us some cold water...before going into his undamaged home to continue his day."
Learn about another Arizona success story--download the free report by the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition that details the positive impacts of a sprinkler ordinance on the books in Scottsdale since 1986.