MBFD: Sprinkler system, thermal imaging helped in getting hotel fire under control quickly

MBFD: Sprinkler system, thermal imaging helped in getting hotel fire under control quickly
Thermal imaging was used by firefighters to help contain the fire at the Holiday Sands South Hotel Wednesday night. Courtesy of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department.
Thermal imaging was used by firefighters to help contain the fire at the Holiday Sands South Hotel Wednesday night. Courtesy of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach firefighters are crediting the sprinkler system with helping to contain a blaze that broke out Wednesday night at a South Ocean Boulevard hotel.

According to information from the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, crews responded to the 12th floor of the Holiday Sands South Hotel and found a large fire on the balcony of one of the rooms.

“Because it was on the balcony and not in the room the sprinkler system was not effective, but once the fire tried to enter the room the sprinklers kept the fire from spreading farther,” a social media post from the MBFD stated.

Firefighters said another tool that helped in getting the fire under control quickly was the department’s drone, which provided thermal imaging to ensure the blaze wasn’t still burning in the roof or walls.

“They were able to get there and put the fire out pretty quickly, but we were able to use our drone, specifically for this, as a thermal camera up there, high up on the roof, to see if there were any hot spots we were missing," said Myrtle Beach Fire Department Captain Jonathan Evans. "Also, to light up the scene, because it has a light feature on it as well.”

The Myrtle Beach Fire Department received three drones from the Myrtle Beach Rotary Club about a year ago and had a large scale training session on how to use them in December.

Captain Evans says the thermal feature on the drones helps them make sure the fire is totally out, and in this case, didn’t extend to any nearby rooms.

While the drone was doing its job outside, the firefighters actually fought the balcony fire from the inside of the hotel.

“Each of these hotels has an FDC, or a fire department connections, which our engines hook to to throw the water up the pipe that’s in the stairwells," said Evans. "Then, we just hook into whatever floor we need to be on, so in this case, we carried the hose up to floor 12. We hook into the stairwell, then we can go into the room from there.”

There weren’t any injuries associated with the fire.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation on site, but was not taken to the hospital.

Video of the drone’s thermal imaging, courtesy of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department, can be viewed here.

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