A Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, apartment fire has taken the life of one resident and injured five others who are, at the time of this writing, battling life-threatening injuries.
As per fire code, by having 17 apartment units, the building was required to have a fire alarm system with pull stations which would trigger an alarm for tenants but wasn’t necessarily set to alarm the fire department. Had the building only 16 units, even this system wouldn’t have been required and only battery powered smoke detectors in each apartment would have been mandated.
Reports mention spectators watching in shock as the fire “tore through the complex”. The news articles report that fire fighters responded to a report of “smoke and flame in the hallways”, a condition which possibly wouldn’t have triggered any in-apartment smoke alarms. Some of the residents were reported as having to jump from their second story windows to escape the fire.
As the fire spread, the building’s roof collapsed, essentially covering and protecting the fire from efforts to extinguish it. The property owner says a recent fire inspection found no violations or concerns. However, without an installed fire sprinkler system, the blaze was able to spread unchecked. Photos appear to show the building with considerable levels of destruction.
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