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NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

Introduction to Fire Pumps

Introduction

As it happened...

For some unknown reason, a fire broke out in a mechanical space in the building. Later, the cause would be classified as electrical…the fire spread rapidly into the storage area for finished cabinetry. Some of the storage was in racks and some on the floor. The mechanical space had only heat detectors, but the storage area was equipped with wet-pipe automatic sprinklers.

The fire gained significant headway before it reached the sprinklered warehouse, and a number of heads went off almost simultaneously once the fire hit the storage area. The system pressure dropped, the automatic fire pump started. An engineering company had told management that there were piping problems in the old plant, and the fire pump system was old and couldn’t overcome the piping problems. So, the fire raged, even with operating sprinklers and a fire pump.

The aftermath This was an old mill building in a major mid-America city. The building was protected by automatic sprinklers and two fire pumps, as well as two separate connections to the municipal water supply. The pumps were tested annually, but both failed within one hour after starting when the fire occurred.
NOTE: This is an unformatted excerpt from our online fire protection training library.

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