A hotel fire was extinguished quickly by automatic sprinklers Wednesday night in North Charleston. No one was injured.
The fire at the Suburban Extended Stay Hotel on Stafford Road began about 9 p.m. By 9:30 p.m., it was out, and there was no sign of any further danger. The three-story building was evacuated after the fire destroyed one room's kitchenette.
A pot was left on a stove, and it caught fire, said Bianca Sancic, public information officer for the North Charleston Fire Department. Dozens of firefighters arrived to evacuate the building because hallways were filling with smoke.
The fire was quickly extinguished by automatic sprinklers, Sancic said.
Johnny Brown of Savannah knows firsthand the value of such a system. He's president of Fire Tech Services Inc. and is staying at the hotel on a business trip.
His company sells sprinklers, alarms and extinguishers, and many of its customers are hotels. "I think we take care of this hotel," Brown said as he waited to return after the brief blaze.
Efforts to mandate the installation of sprinkler systems in commercial buildings have been rejected repeatedly by the S.C. Legislature.
The push to encourage sprinkler systems followed two 2007 fires: the Sofa Super Store fire in Charleston that killed nine Charleston firefighters, and the house fire in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., that killed seven South Carolina college students.
A study of the Sofa Super Store fire commissioned by the city of Charleston concluded, among other findings, that the fire would have been controlled quickly with only minor damage had there been a sprinkler system.