Sprinkler system no match for flames in Thomasville fire

Sprinkler system no match for flames in Thomasville fire
Irene Spears, previous resident
Irene Spears, previous resident
Fire Chief Chris Jones
Fire Chief Chris Jones

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Investigators now say they know why sprinklers and smoke alarms didn't go off in a Thanksgiving Day apartment fire in Thomasville. The fire started in a mattress on a back porch of the Walnut Apartments.

It spread quickly through the outside of the building into the attic, avoiding detection by smoke alarms inside. Flames also burned through pipes disabling the sprinkler system.

"This fire went undetected for sometime and grew to a very large fire without being detected. So that's why smoke detectors are so important because while we're sleep that smoke detector wakes us up. when there's smoke in our residence," said Fire Chief Chris Jones.

A previous resident who was displaced after the fire says she lost almost everything.

Irene Spears said, "Well its hard, I don't know really what I'm gonna do all I know is right now I'm staying with my daughter and I got stuff in storage,"

Officials are still investigating to determine if someone set the mattress on fire.

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