Temps hit 1000C in NSW nursing home fire

If sprinklers were installed at the scene of a fatal Sydney nursing home fire in 2011 the fire could have been contained to 100C, an inquest has been told.

If sprinklers had been installed at a Quakers Hill nursing home which went up in flames killing several residents, their chances of injury could have been dramatically reduced, an inquest has heard.

But the absence of this simple fire safety measure meant the blaze that engulfed the structure, reached temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius.

Fourteen people died, some several months later, following the inferno on November 18, 2011.

Registered nurse and drug addict Roger Dean pleaded guilty to 11 counts of murder and is serving life behind bars.

An inquest heard Dean, after learning staff suspected he was behind missing prescription medication, lit two fires at the nursing home while working on a shift.

The fires sparked a desperate evacuation of all residents, many immobile.

Asked what was learned so a similar tragedy could be avoided, NSW Fire and Rescue Superintendent Robert Alexander had a simple answer.

"Sprinklers," he told the Glebe Coroner's Court on Monday.

This measure would have contained the temperature at 90-100 degrees.

In the wake of the fire, the NSW government made it mandatory for all nursing homes to have fire sprinklers installed before March 2016.

The inquest continues.

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