Hot Wheels: Ipswich Sprinkler System Saves Classic Cars From Fire

Photo: Courtesy of the Ipswich Fire Department.

IPSWICH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — One fire ride could have caused a potential total loss of multiple vintage cars at an Ipswich storage facility on Saturday, but thanks to the building's functioning sprinkler system, damage to the dated automobiles was minimized.

According to the Ipswich Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched to Clam Town Classics at 11 Old Right Road for a fire alarm activation with a water-flow alarm. Arriving officials found heavy smoke was coming from a unit known to house multiple classic cars.

Fire officials discovered the source of the smoke was a 1972 Lamborghini, as flames flickered underneath its hood. The heat from the blaze triggered three sprinkler heads over the car, and the water showers contained the fire to its point of origin. Firefighters lifted the sports car's hood to extinguish the remaining flames, and ventilated the unit to clear all air of smoke.

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Owner of Clam Town Classics George Delaney told firefighters he was impressed by the performance of a safety mechanism he had not given too much thought about.

“As a business owner watching the bottom line, I didn’t care too much for sprinklers— now I’ve done a 180. After seeing the difference they make, I’m a big fan," Delaney said.

Ipswich Fire Chief Paul Parisi says the damage could have been much worse, as a 1954 mint condition Cadillac was parked just a few yards away from the Lamborghini was undamaged.

Photo: Courtesy of the Ipswich Fire Department.

"Usually you only have one or two sprinkler heads activated. The fact that three sprinkler heads went off tells you just how much heat there was, yet the fire was contained only to the engine compartment, the sprinkler system did just what it’s designed to do. Without it, the property loss would have been much more significant,” Chief Parisi said.

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