Massive Fire Engulfs Home of Cooking Show Star Rachael Ray and Family; Local Officials Say Home Fire Sprinklers Would Have Made a Difference

A huge fire engulfed the upstate New York home of television host and celebrity cook, Rachael Ray, causing massive damage to the second floor and destroying the roof of the mansion.

According to news sources, the house, situated in New York State's Adirondack Park, is in a remote area where there are no fire hydrants for miles. Adding to the challenge of getting water on the scene, according to Warren County's (NY) fire coordinator, Brian LaFlure, “… there was no sprinkler system which is something that down the road we would like people to deal with.” Other fire chiefs on the scene echoed the sentiment saying fire sprinklers “could have stopped the raging inferno.”

The issue pointed out by fire officials, remote areas with limited access to water, is certainly one of the values of home fire sprinklers. But there are others.

Home fires account for four of every five fire deaths and three of every four fire injuries.The design of modern homes, along with the materials used to build them and highly combustible furnishings, result in fires that burn much faster today than they used to, shrinking the time to escape to as little as two minutes.


Home fire sprinklers are a crucial, life-saving technology that have been proven as the best protection available to minimize home fire injuries and death for both civilians and responding firefighters. According to NFPA research, the risk of dying in a reported home fire is 85 percent lower if sprinklers are present. Having sprinkler systems in homes reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by 50 percent.


Sprinkler opponents are quick to share false information about home fire sprinklers allowing thousands of new homes to be built without this protection despite their inclusion in all model building codes. Research and facts that contradict the myths and false statements about sprinkler systems like installation costs and water usage are readily available to educate others about the dangers of home fires and what they can do to reduce their risk. Simply put, sprinklers are the most affordable, reliable, and effective protection for families.

Despite the intensity of the fire, the first floor of the house that includes Ray's state-of-the-art kitchen survived the fire. Thankfully, Ray, her husband, mother, and dog were able to escape the fire without injury.  

LeFlure mentioned to news outlets that he would like to see residents deal with sprinklers down the road. To better protect communities, let's shoot for sprinklers being right around the corner rather than down the road.

The cause of the fire in Ray's home is under investigation, but initial findings don't point to suspicious behavior.


For more information about the life-saving benefits of home fire sprinklers and free resources to share, visit the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and the Fire Sprinkler Initiative websites.



 Photo Credit: Hot Shots Fire Video via

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Lorraine Carli
VP, Outreach & Advocacy, Working to save lives and property through awareness, action and collaborations.

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