Just a quick "kudos" to Kim Lawson of the NFD for her interview following the sprinkler save today in Madison today. She did a good job of articulating the fact that the sprinkler system did its job and controlled the fire.
Keep in mind that this was a high-rise assisted-living facility. If not for the sprinkler system, this is a tragedy worthy of national headlines. High-rise fire? Always a big problem. Assisted-living? Multiple occupants who aren't likely sprinting to the exits. 8:30 AM? Probably some still asleep. Headlines should have been "SPRINKLERS SAVE COUNTLESS LIVES"; but they didn't. Heck, one local news station reported that the fire was controlled by a "fire extinguisher"... Priceless. I guess with the nature of news reporting, I say we should be thankful for the press that it did receive.
Not sure if this building was built with sprinklers, or if it was a retrofit. As a result of the deadly NHC fire in September of 2003 in Nashville, legislation was passed to require all nursing homes, asssited living facilities, and homes for the aged to be sprinklered. According to the State Fire Marshal's website, there is only one assisted-living facility in the state that has not yet complied with this requirement.