On January 29, 1985, a fire occurred on the first floor of a boarding home in Washington D.C. The fire, thought to be caused by smoking materials, involved a couch in the facility’s smoking room and a small amount of other materials, before the smoke detectors alerted occupants and automatic sprinklers controlled the fire. Although smoke had spread throughout most of the structure, occupants were able to escape with fire department assistance, and the only injuries were minor in nature.
This fire was significant because it demonstrated the value that an automatic sprinkler system can have on improving the level of protection in an occupancy with an identified fire problem – boarding homes.
NFPA members can download the full investigation report .