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GMC-Duluth Laundry Room Fire Contained

Hospital staff's use of fire extinguisher and sprinkler system credited with preventing fire at Gwinnett Medical Center in Duluth from spreading.

Quick action by hospital staff and sprinklers kept a fire that apparently started in a commercial dryer in the laundry room early Saturday (July 28) morning at kept the fire from spreading.

When Gwinnett firefighters arrived, they found a small fire in the laundry room and moderate smoke on the hospital’s main level, Capt. Tommy Rutledge reported in a media release. Fire crews were dispatched at 6:16 a.m., arrived at the scene at 6:22 a.m. and brought the fire under control at 6:43 a.m.

The fire was being controlled by the building’s sprinkler suppression system when the fire department arrived, according to Rutledge. Firefighters quickly deployed a single hose line to completely extinguish the remnants of the smoldering fire. The fire damage was contained to a commercial dryer and its contents, and sent only a slight odor of smoke into other parts of the main-level.

A member of the nursing staff attempted to douse the fire with a portable fire extinguisher prior to the sprinkler activation, Rutledge reported. She was evaluated in the ER for minor exposure to the smoke. Two other hospital employees were also evaluated for minor smoke exposure. There were no evacuations necessary due to the fire, and no other injuries were reported.

"The hospital staff sprang into action and did a good job of protecting occupants of the building and minimizing the damage," according to Rutledge.

This incident demonstrates the effectiveness of fire sprinklers in buildings, as well as the need for fire extinguisher, and fire safety training of employees in the workplace, he said. 

For additional information on Workplace Fire Safety Programs, contact the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction-Education Section at 678-518-4845 or email fireprograms@gwinnettcounty.com.

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