Fire Escapes In The News

Deadly apartment fire in Brooklyn

Deadly apartment fire in Brooklyn caused by careless smoking, FDNY says

Authorities say a deadly apartment fire in Brooklyn Thursday night was accidental, caused by careless smoking.

56-year-old Rupert Smith was killed in the blaze that broke out just after 10 p.m. in a six-story apartment building on Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights.

Investigators say the fire broke out in Smith’s second-floor apartment and spread.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was out the second-floor window.

Once inside, firefighters found Smith in an apartment. He was unconscious and had burns all over his body.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

A look inside the apartment where a 56 year old man was killed in a fire last night. The fire was contained to one apartment . @ABC7NY

Smith has a history of setting fires and that is part of the investigation, the FDNY said.

Residents had to quickly rush out to escape.

“I told the kids to go out. By the time I went back in to grab my robe, the kids were coming back up because they were overtaken by the smoke,” said tenant Shatoya Killings. “So we had to make our way through the fire escape. But we couldn’t get down because the ladder wasn’t down so we had to stay at the bottom of the fire escape.”

Four residents in the building were treated for smoke inhalation.


NFPA 1: Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demo Operations

Chapter 16 of NFPA 1, Fire Code, requires structures undergoing construction, alteration, or demolition operations to comply with NFPA 241, Standard for Safeguarding Construction, Alteration, and Demolition Operations. NFPA 241 provides measures for preventing or minimizing fire damage during construction, alteration, and demolition operations. (The fire department and other fire protection authorities also should be consulted for guidance.)

The requirements of NFPA 241 cover issues such as the location and use of temporary construction for offices, storage, and equipment enclosures; control of processes and hazards such as hot work; temporary heating and fuel storage; and waste disposal. The general requirements also cover temporary wiring and lighting, site security, access for fire fighting, and on-site provision of first aid fire-fighting equipment.

Extensive details from NFPA 241 are included, as extracts, in Chapter 16 of NFPA 1. NFPA 1, 2015 edition, extracts from NFPA 241, 2013 edition.

In addition to compliance with NFPA 241, Chapter 16 contains some additional, NFPA 1 specific, provisions:
A fire protection plan must be establishes where required by the AHJ. (A fire safety program helps control fires and emergencies that may occur during construction or demolition operations by early planning and implementation of safety measures.)
Fire department access roads in accordance with Section 18.2.3 of NFPA 1 must be provided at the start of a project and maintained throughout construction. This ensures adequate access for the fire department should a fire or emergency occur.

Construction and demolition operations can be dangerous, and history has shown us that major fires and property damage can occur, if the proper safety measures are not followed. NFPA 1, through NFPA 241, offer the provisions necessary to ensure safe construction and building demolitions.

For additional information, check out this article from the Jan/Feb 2015 NFPA Journal about the recent uptick in huge fires at residential complexes under construction, and how NFPA 241 can protect these buildings from loss.

Source: Kristin Bigda Fire Protection Engineer with NFPA, Blog Post on Aug 11, 2017

Kristin is a Principal Fire Protection Engineer at NFPA. Works with codes and standards related to life safety, building protection, fire doors and passive fire protection strategies.

Tiverton woman escapes fire with minor burns, a NFEA Fire Escape Inspector gives his insights

TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — A multi-household house in Tiverton was closely broken in a fireplace Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to 214 Chace Ave. simply earlier than four p.m. and arrived to seek out the constructing absolutely concerned, in accordance with Tiverton Hearth Chief Robert Lloyd.

Lloyd stated the tenant suffered some burns however declined remedy. Crews have been seen reuniting the lady together with her ferret, which that they had rescued from the hearth.

No firefighters have been harm, based on the chief, however the warmth did take a toll on them.

About forty firefighters responded in complete, with mutual assist being referred to as in from a number of neighboring communities.

Lloyd stated it was an “intense” hearth and it took crews about half-hour to get the flames beneath management.

The injury to the house was in depth, in line with Lloyd, and the constructing will doubtless be condemned.

The reason for the hearth stays underneath investigation.

As soon as a certified Fire Escape Inspector from the National Fire Escape Association came across the story, immediately began to question that fire escape in subject. It appeared to him that the fire escape was incomplete in its design as it didn’t allow for safe evacuation complete to grade.

It remains unclear if fire escape egress was blocked, making it difficult for tenants to evacuate and reach an area of safety. Let alone, if an inspection record exists in the building or fire department as mandated by national model fire codes.

Throwback Thursday! 2012 Fire Code Adoption. Back When Fire Escapes First Became Subject to Specific Examination Requirements


CHANGE SUMMARY: Existing exterior fire escapes require an inspection by a registered design professional or persons acceptable to the fi re code official no more than every 5 years.

2012 CODE: 1104.16.5 Materials and Strength. Components of fire escape stairs shall be constructed of noncombustible materials. Fire escape stairs and balconies shall support the dead load plus a live load of not less than 100 pounds per square foot(4.78 kN/m2). Fire escape stairs and balconies shall be provided with a top and intermediate handrail on each side. The fire code official is authorized to require testing or other satisfactory evidence that an existing fire escape stair meets the requirements of this section.

1104.16.5.1 Examination.
Fire escape stairs and balconies shall be examined for structural adequacy and safety, in accordance with Section 1104.16.5, by a registered design professional or others acceptable to the fire code official every five years, or as required by the fire code official. An inspection report shall be submitted to the fire code official after such examination.

CHANGE SIGNIFICANCE: Building fire escapes are a means-of-egress component in many existing multiple-story buildings. Neither the IBC nor IFC contains a specific definition as to what actually constitutes a fire escape, and in previous editions of the codes, they did not establish a frequency for their inspection. The IBC provisions for existing building in Section 3406.1.2 only permits a fire escape as a means-of-egress component in existing buildings and limits the installation of new fire escapes on existing buildings when the building code official determines they are necessary based on the substantiation by the registered design professional that exterior stairways cannot be used due to the lot line limiting the size of the stair, or conditions where the fire escapes could impact the egress path in sidewalks, alleys, or roads at grade. Additionally,new fire escapes, when allowed by the building code official, cannot utilize ladders or windows as a means of egress component. Fire escapes are typically prohibited in new construction.

A new requirement in Section 1104.16.5.1 establishes an inspection frequency for fire escapes and balconies erected on existing buildings. By design, fire escapes present a lot of concern to code officials because the stairs, ladders, balconies, and mechanical fasteners are commonly constructed of carbon or galvanized steel, which will rust if not properly maintained. Rust is a metal oxide that corrodes and damages carbon or galvanized steel and reduces its strength. The evaluation is necessary to
confirm that this exterior stair egress component satisfies a minimum design load requirement prescribed in Section 1104.16.5, is properly maintained, and is available for service in the event of an emergency that requires the occupants to egress the building. Unless otherwise specified by the fire code official, the 2012 IFC requires an inspection of fire escapes and their balconies every 5 years.

Fire escapes are now subject to specific examination requirements. 1104.16.5.1.

128 PART 3 ■ Building and Equipment Design Features
The individual evaluating fire escapes is required to be a registered design professional or an individual approved by the fire code official. The evaluation should include a review of the requirements in ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, including the requirements in Section 13.4 for mechanical fasteners and Section 4.4 for handrails and grab bars. If adopted by the jurisdiction, the individual performing the inspection should also review the ASCE 7 Appendix  11B requirements for existing buildings.

2012 International Fire Code Significant Changes Edition

‘lucky’ to have escaped

Malone fire victims feel ‘lucky’ to have escaped

  • By DENISE A. RAYMO Press-Republican

A few minutes later, his girlfriend, Lakeisha Mitchell, woke up and told him she could smell smoke.

About the same time, someone started pounding on their door, yelling there was smoke in the hallway of their four-story apartment house at 384 West Main St.

“We got out onto the fire escape, and the flames started shooting up,” Coates said.

“I had to carry her down the fire escape,” he said, gesturing to Lakeisha, who is five weeks pregnant with their first child.

“I carried her down, then I brought four little kids down and went in again,” Coates said.

“There were so many kids, I kept going in to help.”

Everyone that he and first responders assisted got to safety as firefighters from 17 Franklin County departments, five fire departments from St. Lawrence County and one from Clinton County poured into the village from all directions to help.


The couple sat on the stoop of the former Kriff’s Furniture Store building across the street from the fire site as volunteer firefighters continued to peel off strips of metal roofing more than nine hours after the blaze was first reported to Franklin County Fire Control.

“This whole place was full of smoke,” he said, raising his arms to indicate the two-lane passage of Main Street/Route 11, which is lined with tall, old buildings on each side.

Thirty people were sent to the Emergency Department at University of Vermont Health Network, Alice Hyde Medical Center to be checked out as a safety precaution.


Coates and Mitchell were medically cleared and left to come back downtown to see how badly the building was damaged.

“Luckily, nothing was wrong with us,” Coates said. “But all of our stuff is gone. Even my wallet’s up there.”

He had not been able to contact the American Red Cross for help because he had no minutes left on his pre-paid phone.

But across town where the Red Cross has established an emergency shelter at the Malone Adult Center, the aroma of goulash cooking and a cheery chalkboard sign encouraging people to grab a fresh cup of coffee greeted the nine victims being helped there.

All had just enough time to leave with the clothing or pajamas on their backs after being evacuated by firefighters and police.


Angela Dolan and her boyfriend, Richard Rhinehart, were being helped at the shelter. They lived on different floors of the adjoining apartment house to the immediate right of where the fatal fire occurred, so they aren’t sure how much smoke and water damage their belongings might have endured.

“We went outside and saw the flames, and people were running all over the place, trying to get out,” he said.

“It was a nightmare. I’m deathly afraid of fire. But my girlfriend’s front door goes right out to Main Street, so we got right out.”

“I’m just thankful everybody’s OK,” Rhinehart said. “I knew a lot of the people who lived there.”

He said a neighbor, Faye Fleury, was very upset at the scene because she had not been able to find her cat, but Dolan said the pet turned up safe a little later.


“It seems like we were lucky,” Dolan said. “Oh, it could have been such a disaster if anyone else had been hurt. I felt awful; I still feel awful about the whole thing,” she said.

“He just decided to stay with me. He wasn’t going to, but for some reason, we decide to stay together,” Dolan said.

“I was awake at 1:30 and heard a commotion in the back yard and didn’t know what it was. Then I saw somebody going down the fire escape, so I looked out the front window and saw the fire trucks.

“Seems like we were lucky,” she said. “But this is a sad time.”


The Red Cross will have the shelter open until at least Monday unless the fire victims can all be placed in other safe lodging before then, said Bridget Nelson, an AmeriCorps and Red Cross disaster-services volunteer.

Community members were already offering furniture and bringing bags of clothing to the Adult Center.

Director Paulette Dear said the agency was using the food planned for Monday’s Meals of Wheels and congregate-meal program to feed the fire victims and that an alternate menu will be created for those clients when the new week begins.

If the center is still needed as a shelter on Monday, when meals are typically served at the Route 30 site, the fire victims will be fed with the elderly patrons but the scheduled bridge card game will be postponed.


Sandro Colon, who lived on the third floor of the apartment house for about a year, was one of the people being helped at the shelter until he can figure out what he is going to do next.

“We don’t know what’s going on,” he said of the fire’s destruction.

“We may have lost all of our belongings. We may have to start all over again.”

Email Denise A. Raymo:

Twitter: @DeniseRaymo

7 On Your Side helps man whose satellite dish blocked fire escape

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 07:11PM
By Michael Finney

In San Francisco, a recent inspection revealed a hazard that had been there for 15 years, so 7 On Your Side’s Michael Finney helped get it removed.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Horrific fires like the Ghost Ship tragedy in Oakland have focused attention on potential fire code violations. In San Francisco, a recent inspection revealed a hazard that had been there for 15 years, so 7 On Your Side’s Michael Finney helped get it removed.

You may not think a satellite TV dish could be a problem. But, it was blocking a fire escape at a seven story apartment building. Our viewer says he’s been worrying about it for years. He came to me for help.

“The dish itself blocked the fire escape,” Harry Campbell said.

It’s hard enough for Campbell to climb onto his fire escape.

“I’d open the window like this,” Campbell showed us.

He has to crawl out a little window. “These fire escapes are not for the faint of heart,” Imagine how much harder it would be if a big satellite TV dish was propped in the window. A dish actually was bolted onto the window sill in Campbell’s apartment. It extended out to the railing of the fire escape.

“Someone trying to get from there to here would have to go under the dish like this,” Campbell said.

It blocked what was already a daunting escape route, down steep stairs, traffic rushing below, and possibly a fire chasing you from behind.

“It was beyond scary. It’s been like having a powder keg outside your window.”

He says DirecTV installed the dish over his objections. That was 15 years ago.

“He said that was the best place for installation. He came in, assessed it, put it there and he was gone,” Campbell said.

Campbell says he kept asking DirecTV to move the dish onto the roof, but the company never responded. Luckily there was never a fire, but for years he worried.

“That sort of situation could lend itself to potentially tragic consequences,” Campbell said.

Finally this year a fire marshal ordered the dish removed, but DirecTV said harry would have to pay $50 to relocate it, or more if the move was complicated. Harry didn’t want to pay saying it was DirecTV’s fault for putting it there in the first place.

“And the light bulb went on and I said to myself I have to call 7 On Your Side,” Campbell said.

We contacted DirecTV, and its parent company AT&T responded, but would not say why DirecTV put the dish in the fire escape. “We were glad to resolve these issues and we apologize for any inconvenience,” AT&T told us.

DirecTV did move the dish up to the roof at no charge to Harry.

“Seven On Your Side, I praise you. You are the bomb.”

Harry says he hopes he never needs to use the fire escape, but he’ll be able to climb out a little faster now. He can also see the skyline outside that window for the first time in 15 years.

Source: Copyright ©2017 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.

2 Escape Torch Lake House Fire

Fire heavily damaged a home on Fort Wayne’s southwest side early Monday.

An adult and teenager were able to escape the fire before crews arrived.

At 6:15 a.m., the Fort Wayne Fire Department was called to 3522 Torch Lake Drive.

When crews arrived, they found flames coming from the back of the two-story home.

The fire broke through the roof not long after firefighters arrived because of flames in the attic, the fire department said.

The blaze is under investigation.

Woman killed in downtown crash

A woman died in a two-vehicle crash late Sunday in downtown Fort Wayne.

City police said a southbound vehicle struck a westbound vehicle at South Clinton Street and East Washington Boulevard.

The woman died at the scene. Her name will be released by the coroner.

Minors arrested at Lake Wawasee

Eighteen minors were arrested Sunday by Indiana conservation officers on charges of illegal possession and consumption of alcohol on the Lake Wawasee sandbar.

Officers received a complaint of a large party on the sandbar with several teen­agers illegally consuming alcohol, according to a news release. Two officers observed several violations taking place on five boats that were tied together.

The officers were participating in Operation Dry Water, a national awareness campaign about boating under the influence of alcohol.

Alcohol contributes to more than half of Indiana boating fatalities. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.

Source: Indiana Journal Gazette

Exclusive Video: Bronx Apartment Fire Leaves 10 Injured, Fire Escape Saves Lives

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Nearly a dozen people are recovering from injuries and several families are without a home after a Bronx apartment building went up in flame on Monday.

The fire started just before noon on 163rd Street in the Melrose section.

Exclusive video obtained by CBS2 shows people scrambling down a fire escape and leaping to the ground.

More than 100 firefighters responded. Two of them suffered minor injuries, along with one police officer, who cut his hand on broken glass trying to rescue children.

Seven civilians were also injured, one seriously.

Many of the residents say their smoke alarms never went off, and if it weren’t for heroes in the neighborhood, this could have been much worse, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.

Cellphone video captured people climbing down ladders to escape the giant flames from the second floor of the building on 163rd Street.

“A lot of people were jumping off the fire escape also when they got to the second-floor landing,” said witness Peter Ortega. “It was really scary. It was really intense.”

“I saw a fireman come out with a lady in his arms,” said Hellen Matos. “I think she got burnt really bad.”

There were also heroes in the crowd. Alex Piniero, a security guard across the street, smelled smoke and ran in to save whoever he could.

“I seen a kid in the third floor screaming for his mom, but I run upstairs and I grabbed him, put him in my arms, I ran outside,” he said. “And then I saw a lady — she just fainted right in my arms in the first floor, and I carried her out.”

People had to knock on neighbors’ doors just to get everyone out because the fire alarms were not working, residents said.

“Somebody said ‘fire, fire!’ so I run. I start knocking doors,” one resident said.

“There was no fire alarms that rang, so no one on the fifth floor would have known if no one went knocking,” Matos said.

The landlord told CBS2 the fire alarms and sprinklers were working fine.

“There are fire extinguishers in every apartment,” he said.

The cause of fire is under investigation.

Source: CBS 2 New York

Residents escape 3-alarm apartment fire likely caused by fireworks

BOISE – Boise Fire Department officials say fireworks are likely the cause of a three-alarm apartment fire early Wednesday morning at the Edgewater Apartments off State Street in Boise.

Firefighters responded to reports of a fire at the complex shortly after 2:30 a.m.

When crews arrived, heavy fire was visible from the third floor of a building. Officials said the fire started on a second story balcony and burned up into the unit above and into an attic.

Five units were damaged.

One person suffered smoke inhalation as a result of the fire. No other injuries were reported.

The Boise Fire Burnout Fund is helping eight displaced families.

Officials believe fireworks are to blame, and said they received reports of teenagers setting off fireworks nearby prior to the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.

Source: © 2017 KTVB-TV

10 injured in Hunts Point Bronx

10 injured in Hunts Point Bronx

Residents gathered outside the walk-up building as the FDNY battled the blaze.

“When they arrived, they had a heavy smoke and fire condition coming from the third-floor windows, which drew their attention to the third floor. We believe the fire actually started on the first floor, and an interior shaft, windows, and toward the back of the building,” said FDNY Chief Roger Sakowich.

Flames and black smoke billowed out of the windows and took over the five floor apartment building.

“I see everyone yelling ‘fire, fire,’ running down the stairs,” Anthony Faison said.

A little girl hiding in her room was rescued by good Samaritans who happened to be walking down the street.

“We heard the lady screaming, ‘oh, my daughter’s in there,’ so me and my brother went inside,” one man said.

The two men plus another neighbor teamed up and fought heavy smoke and flames to get her out.

“There was a lot of smoke up in the air and it was clear in the bottom, so we went under, but it was too hot, and too much smoke, so we couldn’t get through,” he said.

They said they knocked the door down and eventually used the fire escape — pushing out an AC unit to pull her to safety.

“Tito passed her to me through the fire escape, so she was crying, she just looked so scared it kind of broke my heart,” Faison said.

Sakowich told CBS2’s Reena Roy at the scene that 10 people injured — four civilians and six firefighters. None of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries, and most were caused by smoke inhalation, the FDNY said.

The fire had spread quickly to the back of the building, then up the shaft to other floors. The conditions were so dangerous that firefighters had to shelter two people inside as 150 FDNY members brought it under control.

“We decided it was too risky to bring them down at that point and we sheltered them in place and actually got oxygen to them until it was safe to bring them down,” Sakowich said.

The American Red Cross Greater New York was on the scene offering assistance. Officials said everyone made it out and will recover. They are still trying to figure out what caused the fire.