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Flames ripped through an upscale senior resort in early June, killing one and injuring two more. The property wasn't required to meet senior living fire protection code because it is a resort. Is it time to make a code change?
The upscale resort was the home to the three elderly women who were affected in the fire. A 91-year old who lived on the third floor was killed and two women in their late 80s were injured.
The building was constructed almost entirely out of wood. There were no fire sprinklers in the attic. This combination helped the fire spread quickly and grow out of control. The property had some fire protection features, including automatic fire sprinklers (although, not in the attic where the fire originated) and fire and smoke detectors. However, the building construction itself only needed to meet building codes required by residential homes for able-bodied people.
Advocates are saying it's time for a change. Senior resort fire code needs to mirror fire protection code for assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities must be constructed with noncombustible materials and have fire sprinklers and heat detectors in the attic.