How many more fires is it going to take before people understand that closed and latched doors save lives, code-compliant fire doors are self-closing and self-latching, and annual fire door inspections will make sure they stay that way?
It’s simple, really. But the message is not getting through, and people continue to die – this time 3 adults and 3 kids. A 12-year-old boy lost his mother, father, and both brothers. The fire chief makes it clear in the video below that the fire spread through an open door and compromised the exit routes, and the fatalities occurred in apartments with open doors (sorry about the ad – you may have to press play again after the ad).
Here’s a story from the Chicago Tribune:
Investigation continues into cause of fatal Aurora fire
“After igniting in a first-floor apartment, the fire spread through an open door to a common hall and moved to the second and third floors, authorities said. ‘The hallway acted as a chimney with the fire racing through, trapping victims inside,’ Aurora fire Chief Hal Carlson said. ‘Those on the third floor were very exposed because they opened their door.’ Residents who kept their doors closed generally were safer, Aurora assistant fire Chief John Lehman said.”
UPDATE: There was another fatal fire over the weekend – this time in Brooklyn:
Illegal Brooklyn boarding house went up in flames after hot plate sparked blaze
“Firefighters determined that a hot plate left near a bed in a second-floor unit sparked the blaze that residents tried to douse. ‘They made an attempt to put it out with a bedspread and curtains,’ Long said. ‘That just added to the fire.’ When they failed to knock down the flames, the residents fled the room, leaving the door open and giving the fire fast passage to the third floor, where Atkinson and Edwards were staying.”