Jack LattaStaff Writer
November 14, 2012
Prestonsburg Fire department responded to a fire a Jenny Wiley Convention Center Saturday night despite troubling silence from the buildings fire alarms.
Dozens of guests had gathered to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Floyd County Judge Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall and his wife Lois. The Marshall’s appeared in good spirits outside the convention center and laughed easily at jests from other partygoers about how their love still “burned bright” after all these years.
Though levity was in no short supply, there was cause for some concern.
While no one was injured, and the fire was put out relatively quickly, many partygoers were troubled by the fact that the building’s fire alarm or sprinkler system never activated.
According to witnesses at the scene, while the guests were in one of the building’s two ballrooms, a table out front which had been used to store gifts for the couple caught on fire. Guests say that the fire started from a candle sitting on the table.
Prestonsburg Fire Chief Bobby Carpenter says that the State Fire Marshal has jurisdiction on all state owned property, and that’s who will be looking into it.
“Smoke alarms did not go off, nor did anyone manually pull it,” said Carpenter. “The system didn’t work and the State Fire Marshal will investigate it.”
Carpenter added that the building is equipped with a sprinkler system, but that the fire never got large enough to activate it. “But there was plenty of smoke to trigger the automatic detection system,” he said.
According to Carpenter, the state fire marshal was contacted on Tuesday by the park to review the system, but he added he would also be making a call to the office.