Orland Park, IL -- Chicago Fire Department reports have stated that a small fire in a trash compactor on the 50th floor of Trump Tower was controlled by fire sprinklers. This is in stark contrast to the fire at the Hancock last November.
The fire sprinklers prevented injuries, deaths, and major damage to the building.
Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board said that this fire serves as an example of the "glaring difference in protection between Chicago's new and old residential high-rises."
When the Trump Tower began construction in the late 2000s, fire sprinklers were already required in buildings that have residential and commercial occupancies. However, high-rises that were built pre-1975, may not be protected.
In November 2015, a fire ignited at the Hancock Center, which houses commercial and residential occupancies, but was built before 1975. A candle started a fire on a residential floor, injuring five people, because there was no fire sprinklers on the residential floors of the high-rise. The Hancock Center only had been retrofitted with fire sprinklers on the lower, commercial floors.
"Chicago's Life Safety Evaluation for residential high-rises built prior to 1975 ignores the national model codes adopted by the state of Illinois and has allowed buildings such as the Hancock to be unsprinklered," states Lia. "That's why a candle fire caused such great damage a few months ago."
There are still nearly 200 buildings that have not complied with the city's Life Safety Evaluation that was required by January 1, 2015.
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