en-Gauge Fire and Life Safety Blog

Working and Accessible Fire Extinguishers - A Different Outcome

Posted by Brendan McSheffrey on 1/9/14 9:00 AM

Over the holidays, I got together with a group of friendFire-Extinguisher-in-uses for a night of laughter and good cheer.  At some point over the course of the evening we started talking about a friend who was injured in the 2003 Station Night Club fire in Rhode Island that killed 100 people and injured 230 more.  He was one of the lucky ones and escaped with some minor burns and some terrifying stories. 

One of the contributing factors to the fire was missing and empty fire extinguishers that the band's manager rushed for when he realized the fire was getting out of hand.  Cut to this Sunday when I saw this story on Gawker about an arsonist who set fire to a nightclub on New Year's Eve.  When I saw the headline, I immediately feared the worst, however this story had more of a happy ending:

An arsonist doused a carpeted stairwell in gasoline and lit it on fire shortly after midnight on New Year's Day as approximately 750 patrons celebrated the new year at Neighbours, one of Seattle's oldest gay clubs.

The crisis was averted by two military members — US Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Bostick and Air Force member Mike Casey — who fought the blaze until the club's sprinkler system was activated.

The story continued:

According to the Neighbours Nightclub Seattle Facebook page, Bostick, Casey, and bartender Lucas Shipley "located and grabbed a fire extinguisher and put the fire out in under 30 seconds."

The bar staff pulled the fire alarm immediately after they saw smoke, ensuring the sprinkler system was activated and letting everyone know that they had to vacate the premises. Within two minutes, everyone had exited the building and nobody was hurt.

What a difference having available, accessible and working fire extinguishers can make.  At enGauge, we love to hear these kinds of stories.  Quick thinking staff and patrons used a fire extinguisher to fight a fire intentionally set with gasoline and gave the patrons of this nightclub the time to exit the building safely. 

Topics: Fire Extinguisher, Fire Extinguisher Success Stories