Fire brigade demonstrates sprinklers extinguish fire in 30 seconds at Quakers Hill fire court hearing

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Roger Dean (pictured), the male nurse who allegedly started the Quakers Hill aged care fire that directly killed 10 residents plus impacted the death of another 11, is in court offering a guilty plea of manslaughter. The prosecution has refused and is applying for murder. In court it has been revealed the fire was lit in two separate locations and Dean was apprehended outside watching, and had in his possession oxycodone painkiller tablets, a small amount of morphine and some stolen books.
Fire and Rescue NSW played a re-enactment video of two aged care rooms being set alight, one with a sprinkler system and one without. For both they held a lighter to the edge of a bed sheet; in three minutes the beds were alight. At 4 minutes and 42 seconds the sprinklers in one room were activated and all flames extinguishing in about 30 seconds. The non sprinkler room was engulfed in black smoke in 10 minutes and at 20 minutes fully aflame with fire spreading to other rooms. Consequently the NSW Parliament is expected within the week to make sprinklers compulsory at a cost of $160 million.

Side note: Quakers Hill is now being rebuilt by operator Domain Principal Group. CEO Gary Barnier is going to review the experience and provide risk management insights at LASA’s Perth conference in two weeks time.

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