Plainfield, CT -- Fire officials have determined that a 6 year old girl that was killed in a fire may not have died had fire sprinklers been installed.
The girl died in Plainfield, CT from burns and smoke inhalation.
The house was built by Habitat for Humanity a few months ago. They did not install fire sprinklers. Officials believe it would have made the difference between life and death.
"Our opinion is that this may have been a different scenario if the house had sprinklers in it," said West Haven Fire Marshal Keith Flood.
The house had one working smoke detector, and no fire sprinklers. Builders are not required to install fire sprinklers in Connecticut single family homes. They are required to let buyers know that sprinklers are availabe to be installed though.
Each sprinkler head sprays 15 gallons of water per minute. This buys important time to evacuate. "You have an 80 percent rate of getting out of a house fire with smoke alarms and sprinklers and only a 50% chance with smoke alarms alone, so there's a big difference there," said Flood.
Fire Sprinklers start around $5,000, but not having one costs more.
"How much value do you put on your family's life? I lost two nephews. I know," said Larry Babbitt, a fire sprinkler designer. His nephews died in a fire 22 years ago. They were 14 and 12 years old.
"Wherever the heat rises, normally it's going to go right to the top. It'll start protecting that area all the way to the doors to get out of the building," said Babbitt.
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