3 pm Wednesday afternoon, Prescott Regional Communication Center received a report of an attic fire in an apartment complex in the 1000 block of Sandretto Drive. Due to the occupancy type and risk to multiple residences, the call was upgraded to a second alarm, with engines from Prescott Fire Department and Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority responding to the scene. The first arriving unit reported smoke issuing from the attic but no flames seen. That first company made entry into a second story apartment and then into the attic.
Firefighters were able to locate where insulation had caught fire and was still producing smoke. The crew was able to isolate the area of burned insulation and extinguish the materials using a simple pressurized water fire extinguisher. This controlled use of a limited amount of water kept damage to the area at a minimum and the burnt material was removed from the attic. It was determined that plumbing work had been in progress in the attic and the insulation was ignited when the pipes were being soldered. Some wiring to an air conditioning unit was damaged by the fire, but an electrician was able to isolate the circuit so the family would be able to stay in the apartment.
As a general safety message, please recognize that firefighters have a multitude of tasks to complete on arrival at a fire, with each member of the team dedicated to serving a specific purpose. Often with the first engine arriving, the captain is developing a plan as they assess the scene, the engineer is securing a water supply from a hydrant, and the firefighter is pulling a hose line to the appropriate location. It is always helpful if members of the public can stay clear of the immediate area to allow those operations to occur. Encroaching into the area of operations puts both the firefighters and the public at a higher risk for injury and should be avoided.