Sprinkler system malfunctions, prompts explosion scare at Midtown high-rise

Atlanta fire crews were called to the high-rise on West Peachtree Street after reports of an explosion. Investigators later determined that part of a sprinkler system malfunctioned.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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Atlanta fire crews were called to the high-rise on West Peachtree Street after reports of an explosion. Investigators later determined that part of a sprinkler system malfunctioned.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Reports of an explosion triggered a large fire response at a Midtown high-rise Wednesday after a sprinkler system malfunctioned in the building.

Investigators concluded that the reported explosion in Tower Square on West Peachtree Street was the result of the building’s fire emergency system malfunctioning, authorities told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Four fire engines were sent to the building after receiving a report of an explosion in the basement, Atlanta fire Battalion Chief Greg Gray said. When the crews arrived, they saw water streaming from the parking deck.

“Upon our initial investigation, we found that there was an explosion in the fire pump room,” he said. A fire pump is part of a fire sprinkler system that helps control water supply.

“One of the fire pumps actually malfunctioned and is rendered out of service at this point,” Gray said.

Crews and maintenance personnel were able to shut the water off and begin cleaning up the area. The company that maintains the sprinkler system arrived to make repairs to the water pump, Gray said.

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Workers rushed out of the building on West Peachtree Street after the explosion was reported. It later was determined to be safe.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Workers rushed out of the building on West Peachtree Street after the explosion was reported. It later was determined to be safe.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

caption arrowCaption
Workers rushed out of the building on West Peachtree Street after the explosion was reported. It later was determined to be safe.

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

The building’s emergency fire system was taken offline due to the incident, Gray said. While repairs were underway, fire personnel monitored the affected areas to ensure any emergencies that broke out could be reported quickly.

“Just another day here in the big city,” Gray said.