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Fire alarm at Helsinki Airport triggered by restaurant mishap

Firefighters raced to the Helsinki Airport Sunday afternoon after greasy exhaust from a restaurant grill entered the ventilation system and set off the fire alarm. No one was injured in the incident.

Hälytysajoneuvoja Helsinki-Vantaan lentoaseman T2-terminaalin edustalla.
Emergency vehicles in front of the T2 terminal at Helsinki Airport Image: Antti Karhumäki / Yle

Finnish rescue services responded to a fire alarm at the Helsinki Airport Sunday afternoon that soon was traced to a restaurant kitchen. Officials say the matter was easily resolved and never presented a danger to anyone.

The fire alarm went off shortly after 3 pm, when greasy exhaust from a restaurant grill in the T2 terminal entered the ventilation system of the airport.

A total of 16 rescue and fire fighting units responded to the call.

The Central Uusimaa Rescue Department reports that the exhaust was due to excessive grease build-up in the restaurant's kitchen, and that no actual fire had ever occurred.

"Grease just spread into the ventilation system," said fire chief Arto Latvala.

Restaurant's future in question

Air traffic was not suspended during the incident and the terminal was not evacuated or shut down in any way. Precautions had been taken for that eventuality, however.

Several people that were at the terminal told Yle that they thought the operation was a drill, because the Finnish rescue service personnel were so calm and orderly in their activities.

Rescue Services are investigating the incident, and a possible operational ban for the restaurant in question is being considered.

They estimate that the only real effect of the false alarm was its effect on road traffic, as the line-up of rescue vehicles prohibited cars from picking up and dropping off passengers.

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