Cleaning Rags Start Fire in Nursing Home
At 12:40 A.M. this morning, Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a reported fire alarm at Granada Rehabilitation and Wellness Center at 2885 Harris Street. While the two initial fire units and duty officer were responding, Humboldt Bay Fire’s Dispatch Center received additional information from staff that there was a fire in the facility. The incident was immediately upgraded to a full structure fire response, including two additional fire units from Humboldt Bay Fire and a unit from Arcata Fire to aid in coverage of other areas of the jurisdiction.
The first in fire engine found that there was a fire in a laundry room in the rear of the facility. The fire sprinkler system had activated and extinguished the fire in the room, limiting the damage to a table, wall, and ceiling above the area. Fire doors had activated and closed, separating the patients from the fire area.
Facility staff immediately evacuated patients to other sections of the building away from the fire area. By the time additional fire units arrived, facility staff had completed the evacuation. Fire personnel remained on scene for two hours to ensure the fire was completely extinguished and to aid in water removal from the areas impacted by the sprinkler activation.
The fire suppression system, quick actions of facility staff, and early notification helped to minimize damage to the facility and undoubtedly kept the patients from being injured. Patients impacted by the incident were moved to other rooms within the facility. The cause of the fire was due to cleaning rags that had been removed from a dryer without having sufficient time to cool. Humboldt Bay Fire encourages everyone to allow fabrics in dryers to go through the cool down phase of the drying process and to not place them in piles until they have cooled.