September 28th, 2021
A massive fire broke out in a building in Sylacauga, Alabama on the night of the 28th of September 2021. The building, which was constructed at the beginning of World War II, formerly housed the Sylacauga Board of Education, and was completely destroyed in the fire. By 10.30 PM that night, the fire was brought under control by fire services.
The building had been vacant for the past few years and there was no one inside. Firefighters were dispatched at just after 8.30PM, but they believe that the fire had been burning for a while before it was reported. There were no injuries reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. As reported by local media, according to fire services officials, there was no active power connection to the building, therefore electrical issues have been reportedly ruled out.
Aside from electrical issues, arson is a key cause of fires in vacant buildings. Empty buildings provide easy access for arsonists and allow them to be hidden from view. Furthermore, there is a greater chance that fire protection systems in vacant buildings, especially those that have been empty for a long time, to be out of service or faulty.
Sprinkler protection should be installed in vacant buildings, and it must also be ensured that the system remains in service throughout. Sprinkler valves should be locked and inspected regularly. Housekeeping is important to remove yard storage and prevent excessive rubbish build up. Ideally, site security should be provided which can include fencing, CCTV, intrusion alarms and night lighting.
Please contact Risk Logic for assistance.