The fire that raged in a care center in Hellendoorn last November was most likely caused by an aerosol extinguisher. This has emerged from research by the umbrella care institution ZorgAccent, the police and the fire brigade.
In the fire on November 13 last year, more than sixty people – mainly frail elderly – were evacuated in a hurry. Two of them had inhaled so much smoke that they were taken to hospital.
RTV Oost reports that a series of events led to the fire. Initially, a troubled resident accidentally activated an aerosol fire extinguisher. This caused an ignition in which the extinguisher launched very small water droplets (aerosol).
That looks like thick smoke, the researchers say. In this case, the water vapor triggered the fire alarm, which caused the fire doors to close and the fire brigade to be alerted.
On a padded seat
At the same time, the company emergency response team came into action. The EROs mistook the water droplets for smoke and threw four new aerosol extinguishers at them. In three cases this went well: the extinguisher ignited and extinguished itself with the water vapor that was created. But in one case things went wrong, the reconstruction shows. The extinguisher ignited but ended up on a padded seat, after which the large fire started.
“The idea is that such an extinguisher extinguishes itself,” said a spokesperson for the fire service. “That has not happened now. I have not experienced it before, but it is apparently possible.”
Zorgaccent will no longer use the ‘extinguishing bomb’, as the aerosol extinguisher is often called. “The emergency response training courses have also been adapted to this immediately,” says a press statement.