RACINE – An automatic sprinkler, triggered by a wastebasket fire, caused extensive water damage to an apartment unit at 134 Main Street Wednesday evening.

The Racine Fire Department was called to the residence at 10:18 p.m.by an automatic sprinkler system water flow alarm. The sprinkler head had extinguished an accidental wastebasket fire in Apartment 210. There were no injuries.

However, the sprinkler caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to the ceiling, walls and contents of the downstairs unit, Apartment 110. Firefighters used tarps and other equipment to protect belongings in the apartment. Apartment 210, where the fire originated, sustained approximately $5,000 in minimal water damage and moderate smoke damage. The fire was determined to have been caused by discarding hot smoking materials in a wastebasket filled with tissue paper.

The RFD encourages everyone to understand the benefit of having renter’s insurance in place when accidents happen.


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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...