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August 22, 2018 Previous day Next day


A summer camp on Long Island suffered serious damage as a lightning strike set several buildings on fire. Just after celebrating its 50th anniversary, Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts had two art studios destroyed by the fire, while other buildings nearby were also affected. Emergency vehicles navigated the narrow roads of a predominantly wooded campus just after 7:15 pm, requiring about 75 first responders to bring the fire under control, according to Newsday.


When responders first arrived on the scene they found a burnt out electrical transformer that had been struck by lightning. It wasn’t until later that they returned to the camp to find an art building ablaze. A firefighter and camp employee were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.


The camp estimates at least $250,000 worth of damage, and a representative told NFPA that a campaign called the Reimagine Fund has been launched to help rebuild the Visual Art Department and upgrade overall infrastructure.


Executive Director, Lauren Brandt Schloss, wrote on the camp’s website "I want to express my extreme gratitude to the Melville Fire Department and Suffolk County Police Department. Their quick and efficient work ensured minimal impact on our campus. Additionally, I am so thankful for the support of the Usdan community. This summer, nearly 2000 students and staff, along with their families, brought these grounds to life. Together, we can, and will, weather any storm."


An NFPA report states that lightning-related fires are more common in June through August and in the late afternoon and evening. Check out these safety tips for more information.

Early bird registration is open until August 28 for the Foundation's 2018 SUPDET® symposium, which will be held at the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham-Research Triangle East, Cary, NC from September 11-14, 2018.  This year's symposium will feature over 25 presentations on suppression and detection and signaling research and applications.  
The detection and signaling section will take place September 11-12 and includes research on residential smoke alarms, smart building applications, and more.
The suppression session, which will take place September 13-14, will feature presentations on the latest applications and research on warehouse sprinkler protection, research on the protection of energy storage systems, advancements in gaseous and clean agent systems, and more.
Between the two sessions on the afternoon of September 12 will be a free half-day special workshop “Energy Storage System (ESS) Design Challenge in High Rise Buildings” that is open to all SUPDET attendees!  Design teams will review preliminary design concepts which illustrate innovative approaches to fire protection of a case study ESS installation within a high-rise building to meet the general design objective of minimizing loss and preventing re-ignition hazards.
Don't miss out - register today for the full symposium, or choose either the Suppression Program or the Detection Program.  For additional details and the full program visit:
The Foundation would like to thank our generous sponsors Gentex and Zurich.  Break and reception sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Please contact Amanda Kimball ( for details.

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