SPRINKLERS WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN SENIORS BUILDING BLAZE SAYS FIRE OFFICIAL

Feb 07, 2016

By Bob Sheppard

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A Toronto Fire official says a fatal fire at a seniors residence on Friday would have been put out more quickly if the building had been fully equipped with sprinklers.

Thick, acrid smoke from burning furniture in a common area filled a hallway and overwhelmed residents trying to escape. Three people died and at least 12 others were injured in the fire at a five-story building at 1315 Neilson Road.

The building is operated by Toronto Community Housing.

Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop says sprinklers certainly would have made a difference. The 126 unit building is “partially sprinklered,” and as such, is compliant with the province’s building code for structures built before 2007.

It was also not required to be routinely inspected by the fire department because it was not registered as a senios home under the fire code. It was advertised as “a seniors lifestyle suite” and therefore, according to Deputy Chief Jessop, there is no provincial legal requirement for fire departments to conduct routine inspections.

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