Sprinkler system saves Sola Salon in Rochester

"Things could've been worse, they could've been a lot worse."

Posted: Jan. 2, 2018 10:53 PM
Updated: Jan. 2, 2018 10:54 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - A sprinkler system is to thank for saving a local business that caught fire.

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Firefighters responded to Sola Salon in North Rochester just before 6:00 p.m. Monday night for an automatic fire alarm. When they arrived, crews had a hard time finding the source of the fire because a sprinkler system had already put it out.

Austin Lucas, the owner of the salon, said the fire started in just one of the studios causing only one of the sprinklers to go off. He said damage could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for the sprinkler system.

"It saved a lot of damage, saved a lot of businesses because everybody here is actually an individual business owner themselves so it saved a lot of business and a lot of time," Lucas said.

Linda Johnson is just one of dozens hairstylists at the salon. She had to pack up some of her tools and products to temporarily work from another Sola location while the building is being cleaned up.

"Things could've been worse, they could've been a lot worse," Johnson said.

Lucas said due to the size of the building, they're required to have a sprinkler system.

"There's a lot of electrical, a lot of equipment, a lot of appliances in a salon so with that being said, we'd put a sprinkler system in anyways just to protect the investment and the safety of all the professionals and the customers," Lucas said.

The system is controlled by heat. Once it felt the source of the fire, an automatic vacuum, the sprinkler head started shooting out water.

"It basically flood three-quarters of the building," Lucas said, "so now we're just going through and cleaning up the floors, drying it all out, making sure our walls are dried out inside too so we don't get any mold problems going forward. We want to put it back in a pristine condition, better than what we had before."

Lucas said other businesses should consider getting a sprinkler system

"It's an expensive item to put in your building," Lucas said, "but it will also protect the investment and I definitely believe in sprinkler systems now too."

Lucas said it will take a couple weeks for the salon studio where the fire started and sprinkler went off to be remodeled. He expects the rest o the salon building to be reopened by the end of the week.

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