Dust filters ignite sign company fire
Mar 06,2009 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

BEND, Ore. – Bend fire crews leaving the city’s maintenance shop yesterday afternoon spotted a fire on the roof of a nearby business, and found that dust filters in a paint booth at Carlson Sign had ignited a fire that ultimately caused an estimated $10,000 in damage.

Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said the fire at Carlson Sign located at 1605 NE Forbes Road was discovered about 2:30 p.m., March 5, and when crews arrived they found employees were already evacuating and the fire sprinkler system activated, and discovered a small fire burning in ducting above the paint booth.

Additional crews totaling 18 personnel, four engine companies, a rescue truck, command vehicle and ambulance were summoned. Derlacki said sign company employees noticed a fire in the commercial paint booth and had tried to put out the blaze with several fire extinguishers without success. Two sprinklers -- one in the booth and one in the ducting -- activated, extinguishing the fire and minimizing the damage. Crews deactivated the sprinkler system once it was confirmed the blaze was out, he added.

The building owned by Peter Carlson sustained about $10,000 in damage, and the contents were untouched. Value of the building was estimated at $800,000 and contents at $500,000.

“The Bend Fire Department reminds everyone that a working sprinkler system can not only save lives but also limit proper damage in the event of a fire. A working sprinkler system reacted to this fire and kept the fire damage down to less than $10,000. Without this system the loss could have been many times greater. Only the sprinkler heads that are exposed to enough heat to activate their fusible link or frangible bulb will break and release water. Each sprinkler head is rated to respond at a certain temperature. The ones at Carlson Sign were rated at 175 degrees Fahrenheit. In this fire, only two heads responded and put out the fire, leaving the rest of the heads in tact,” Derlacki stated in a news release.