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Posted on: July 21, 2020

Sprinkler System Activates and Controls Fire


McHenry Industrial Park Business Saved by Sprinklers


The McHenry Township Fire Protection District (MTFPD) once again emphasized the importance of having fire sprinklers in buildings and cited the weekend fire on Ridgeview Drive in the Prime Industrial Park where the activated sprinkler system controlled a machine fire prior to the arrival of fire crews preventing a more devastating outcome to the commercial business.

“This was a text book example of exactly the manner that sprinklers are designed to work,” said MTFPD Fire Chief Tony Huemann. “The sprinkler system suppressed the main body of fire until the firefighters arrived and completely extinguished the fire.  The activation of the sprinkler system protected the business that produces plastic petroleum products that could have easily become out of control that would have destroyed the entire business and building.”

MTFPD crews were dispatched at 8:12 p.m. on July 18, 2020 for an activated fire alarm at 833 Ridgeview Drive in McHenry.  Upon arrival to the scene of the one-story large commercial building, the responding personnel were able to enter the building using the Knox Box System key.  Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and located the source as a processing machine and used water pump cans and a dry chemical extinguisher to completely put out the fire before ventilating the building.

“The firefighters were able to easily and quickly enter the building during non-business hours using the Knox Box key – again this is exactly why we perform annual business inspections.  We are pleased that the sprinkler system did exactly as it is intended to do and minimized the damage by controlling the fire,” said Chief Huemann. 

The MTFPD Fire Prevention Bureau provides support and education to district residents and businesses concerning fire safety including information on fire sprinklers as well as secure Knox Box rapid entry systems allowing immediate entry into buildings and property without forced entry damage. 

“When a fire breaks out or there is a medical emergency, first responders can access the Knox Box on the home or the business for an entrance key and therefore prevent costly repairs caused by a forced entry and this system is secure for business owners and homeowners,” said Chief Huemann.  “This was a case where great planning, use of important fire safety instruments and a partnership between the business, the NERCOM dispatch center and our department allowed us to respond and get in the building quickly.  The activated fire sprinkler kept the fire under control until we arrived.”

The MTFPD crews were assisted with auto aid from the Nunda Rural Fire Protection District and the Crystal Lake Fire Department. There was no damage estimate immediately available. 

“Fire sprinklers are a proven way to protect lives and property,” said Chief Huemann. 

For more information regarding fire safety, please contact the MTFPD at 815-385-0075 or visit the website at

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