Sprinklers douse fire at apartments

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

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Firefighters say a sprinkler system saved an apartment complex from what could have been a serious fire.

Firefighters responded to a water flow alarm at the Heritage Green Apartments, 3100 S.E. 168th Ave., just after 4:20 a.m. Tuesday.

They arrived and found a plastic box and a cardboard box were left on a stove with a lit burner, said Kevin Stromberg, spokesman for the Vancouver Fire Department. The boxes caught fire and activated the sprinkler system. The residents were not home at the time.

The sprinklers saved the building from a fire but caused water damage to the apartment and the one next door, Stromberg said. The fire could have easily affected multiple families, especially early in the morning, he said.