On the afternoon of Aug. 15, a four-alarm fire started in the three-story barn of the historic Inn at Danbury in Danbury, N.H., then spread to the attached inn and restaurant. Firefighters from nearly 20 area departments responded to extinguish the blaze.

In any major fire, every minute matters. Local fire officials credit the Inn's newly installed fire alarm system from Fire-Lite Alarms, Northford, Conn., for preventing the total loss of the Inn.

Less than a year ago, the local fire chief requested that the Inn install a new fire alarm system throughout its restaurant, barn and main house guest quarters. The owners received bids proposing conventional systems, but opted for the higher level of protection offered by Fire-Lite's addressable MS-9050UD system. Installation was completed by mid-November 2007.

Chief Thomas Austin of the Danbury, N.H., Fire Department directed the emergency response efforts to save the Inn. “The barn suffered water and smoke damage throughout, but there was no damage to the Inn at all,” he says.

According to the Danbury Fire Department, the Inn's fire alarm system notified fire and police five minutes prior to the first phone call reporting the fire. “Had it been five more minutes, the Inn would have suffered total devastation,” says Austin. “I can't compliment the alarm system enough. If it hadn't worked, they might not have realized the situation until it was too late.”

The Inn at Danbury, created from a farmhouse built in 1850, is an historic landmark in a rural area of central New Hampshire. Run by a family of six, the Inn's 14 guest rooms, indoor pool and award-winning Alphorn Bistro restaurant provide a combination of old-world German hospitality and New England charm.

The facility's fire alarm system was restored and put back into commission within 48 hours after the fire. According to the Inn's website, all operations are temporarily suspended, but plans for upcoming fall and winter events are still underway.

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