‘Prism Effect’ Sets Off Alarm, Brings Firefighters Downtown

‘Prism Effect’ Sets Off Alarm,

Brings Firefighters Downtown

Beverage Exchange staff was removing bottle displays from the windows today after Saturday’s incident. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

COOPERSTOWN – A “prism effort” from sunlight filtering through display bottles at the Cooperstown Beverage Exchange set off a smoke alarm and brought Cooperstown volunteer firefighters to the Cooperstown Beverage Exchange early Saturday morning, according to Fire Chief Jim Tallman.

“The decanters acted like a prism,” said Tallman. “They were on top of cardboard boxes, and over time, that prism effect caused the boxes to degrade” and begin smoldering.

The Cooperstown Fire Department responded to the alarm at 7:27 a.m., where firefighters saw smoke coming from a stack of boxes in the store’s front window display.

“We used forcible entry to gain access, removed three boxes and extinguished them in the street,” said Tallman. “There was no structural damage, but it’s lucky that he had an alarm system in place and that it didn’t happen overnight.”

The owner, Gene Marra, had bottled removed from the window to prevent anything similar from happening in the future.  “It was just a freak accident,” he said, caused by “an unusual alignment” of the sun and the displays.


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