MANCHESTER, NH – Two firefighters responding to a fire alarm were caught off guard and treated at a local hospital, after an automated alarm system deployed a chemical extinguisher, creating a low oxygen situation at the city’s Water Treatment Plant.
Manchester Fire crews responded to a fire alarm activation at the Manchester Water Treatment plant, 1581 Lake Shore Road, on March 14 at about 6:30 p.m.
The alarm was activated in the electrical control room of the plant. Upon entering the room the two firefighters were overcome due to a low oxygen environment. A clean air extinguishing agent had been automatically released without warning to the firefighters investigating the alarm.
Because the chemical elements used in the clean air extinguishing agent can displace oxygen in a room’s air space, the firefighters were forced to retreat to fresh air.
Both firefighters were treated and released from the Elliot Hospital. The cause of the extinguisher release was a system malfunction.