A small fire inside an apartment unit forced many residents to the curb Tuesday evening at Babcock Place Apartments, 1700 Mass.
Shortly after 7:30 pm, fire broke out in Apartment 508 and smoke filled the halls on the fifth floor. Residents said the alarms scared everyone but they were glad to get out safely.
“It was so loud so I grabbed everything and I grabbed my mom’s coat and put it on and I was just so scared,” said Tabatha Peters, who was with her mother and visiting her grandmother at the time.
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Captain Pat Karlin said the built-in sprinkler system put out the fire shortly after it sparked. Residents say water then became a problem inside at least five units on the fourth and fifth floors.
Many residents were forced to wait in the cafeteria and outside patio area until crews could clean up some of the water.
Fire Chief Mark Bradford said the sprinklers played a critical role in saving property and lives in a fire such as this.
“It is key that we have fire protection systems in place in high-rise buildings, specifically ones of target hazard where we have an elderly population,” Bradford said. “That was significant in reducing the amount of damage and we didn’t have any injuries or loss of life so that was critical in this incident.”
Residents were let back into their apartments around 9 p.m.